Fire damage at synagogue believed limited to attic – The Daily Iberian

Posted By on May 1, 2020

A New Iberia landmark was endangered Wednesday morning when a fire broke out in the attic of Congregation Gates of Prayer synagogue at the corner of N. Weeks Street and Charles Street, between Main and St. Peter streets.

The 116-year-old synagogue celebrated its first official service in 1904. The building remained unchanged until 1950 when a hall was erected behind the main temple for religious celebrations and community gatherings.

It remains the only temple in New Iberia, serving 30 families.

According to witnesses at the scene, the fire started after lightning strikes in the area. New Iberia Fire Chief Gordon Copell said he is awaiting the results of the investigation to declare a cause for the fire.

It was confined to the attic, said Copell. We had four trucks on the scene. Right now there is no smoke and it looks to be out.

In order to preserve some of the synagogues religious works, scrolls and other important items were taken out of the building to a fire rescue vehicle while firefighters worked to save the structure.

Units arrived on the scene shortly before 9:30 a.m to fight the blaze. By 10 a.m., firefighters declared the fire under control.

Fortunately the fire did not make its way into the temple proper.

We didnt see any damage outside of the attic, Copell said.

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Fire damage at synagogue believed limited to attic - The Daily Iberian

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