Police charge suspect with arson in Minnesota synagogue fire

Police arrested and charged 36-year-old Matthew James Amiot with first degree arson on Friday in connection with a fire that destroyed the historic Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth.

Yellow police tape lies on the road as federal agents work at a crime scene in the town in Mexico  (photo credit: ALEJANDRO ACOSTA/REUTERS)
Yellow police tape lies on the road as federal agents work at a crime scene in the town in Mexico
(photo credit: ALEJANDRO ACOSTA/REUTERS)
Police arrested and charged 36-year-old Matthew James Amiot with first degree arson on Friday in connection with a fire that destroyed the historic Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth, Minnesota on Monday, according to The Jewish Press.
The synagogue was actively used for 119 years.
The structure was completely destroyed by the fire, but firefighters were able to save 10 of the 14 Torah scrolls belonging to the congregation, along with other sacred articles and precious items. 
Eight of the Torah scrolls survived intact, but several others are still stuck in the destroyed structure, too damaged to be saved, according to The Jewish Press.
One firefighter was injured while fighting the flames.
Amiot is expected to appear at the St. Louis County court in Duluth on Monday.
Adas Israel is a small congregation of 75 members and is one of only two synagogues in Duluth.
A fundraising campaign on behalf of the synagogue was started by local Jewish federations.
Temple Israel, a nearby synagogue, offered Adas Israel temporary space.


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