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Chabad Jewish Center in Portland damaged in second fire in 5 days

Jewish organization says blaze under investigation by an ‘arson team’; previous fire said caused by electrical fault with no foul play suspected

Illustrative -- A fire truck fuels in Washington on the way to fighting a fire in Oregon, Sept. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Randy L. Rasmussen)
Illustrative -- A fire truck fuels in Washington on the way to fighting a fire in Oregon, Sept. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Randy L. Rasmussen)

JTA — Firefighters put out a large fire Wednesday at the Chabad Jewish Center in Portland, Oregon — the second at the building in five days.

The building suffered extensive damage from the blaze, which broke out in the early morning, according to local news reports.

“The arson team is currently investigating the Chabad House and we don’t have access nor are we able to comment as to motives or causes at this time,” according to a post Wednesday afternoon on the Chabad of Oregon Facebook page.

A post following a fire Friday night at the building said “it seems it was caused by an electrical issue and no foul play is suspected.”

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. Thank you.Thank G-d no one was hurt and the Torah’s were not…

Posted by Chabad of Oregon on Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The center’s Torah scrolls were removed from the building “a few months back” due to COVID-19, according to the post.

Both fires started in the upper floor of the building and the causes are under investigation.

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