Firefighters and volunteers rushed to save holy books from the flames as fire tore through a synagogue in Cape Town on Tuesday night.
The blaze destroyed the roof of the building. No injuries were reported.
“At just before 11pm, the city’s fire and rescue services responded to a synagogue that was alight in Arthurs Road, Sea Point,” said Cape Town fire and rescue spokesman Theo Layne.
“Twenty-two firefighters, four fire engines, one aerial appliance and a rescue vehicle responded to the incident.
“No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire at this stage is undetermined.”
The Cape Council of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) thanked the city fire and rescue team for their bravery in fighting the fire.
“A massive fire has engulfed the Beit Midrash Morasha synagogue in Sea Point, Cape Town,” said a statement by Rael Kaimowitz, chairman of the Cape SAJBD.
“Our heartfelt prayers are with Rabbi Thurgood and the entire congregation.
“The SAJBD (Cape Council) can confirm on behalf of the synagogue that there are no injuries. Investigators report no signs of foul play at this stage and await the outcome of a full investigation.
“The City of Cape Town fire and rescue services need to be thanked for their bravery as they battle this blaze. We know that every effort is being made to save any holy books and religious articles.