Fire badly damages Canvey Island yeshiva

It may have been an accident caused by Chanukah candles


A fire, that may have been started by Chanukah candles, has badly damaged a yeshiva on Canvey Island.

Seven teams from Essex Fire Service were sent to "reports of a fire in a faith centre building" in Meppel Avenue at around 9pm on Sunday.

Firefighters arrived to find a "well-established fire" which they fought from the ground and an aerial ladder platform. 

The fire was under control by 11.15pm, when crews began checking for "final remaining hotspots".

"Firefighters were also working with the Jewish Community to safely salvage items from the building. The whole building has suffered significant fire damage," a fire brigade spokesperson said.

"Firefighters will carry out an investigation to determine the cause of the fire."

Joel Friedman, who leads the Charedi community on Canvey Island, said the fire may have been caused by "candles put on to celebrate the Chanukah, but we are not 100 per cent sure, which were either misplaced or fell down".

There were no injuries but it was reported Torah scrolls and prayer books were destroyed.

Yeshiva World reported that the students were at the home of the dean at the time of the fire and that tefillin was also among the items that were destroyed.

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