Three holy scrolls were recovered seemingly undamaged from a safe inside the burned-out synagogue of a fiercely anti-Zionist group that is a source of tension in Monsey, a largely Jewish community north of New York City.
Police say the fire does not appear to be arson. A Neturei Karta leader claimed that the fire was deliberately set because of the group's anti-Israeli views, and said several other holy books were destroyed.
But Detective Sgt. John Lynch said Tuesday, that it appears "more likely than not that the cause was an accident."
Based on information collected by investigators and an examination of the fire scene by the arson unit and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the sergeant said there "doesn't appear to be any criminal conduct."