Melbourne fire destroys orthodox home

September 18, 2012 Agencies
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A catastrophe was narrowly averted in Melbourne’s ultra-Orthodox community on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.


Fire scene    pic: Shlomo Boruch Abelesz

Discussing the fire Pic: Shlomo Boruch Abelezs

Twenty-two firefighters battled a blaze in a house in Oak Grove, Ripponlea – opposite the Adass Israel synagogue – on Sunday morning around 09:20, according to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

At least four fire engines arrived within five minutes, according to the MFB, and brought the fire under control less than half an hour later.

“Fire damage was confined to the rear of the property with the remainder heavily smoke-logged and requiring extensive cleaning,” a MFB statement said. “A twin adjoining property that shared a common wall was not affected.”

A MFB spokesperson said it was thanks to the smoke alarm that the mother was alerted and was able to get her children out safely after a blaze started in the laundry and spread to the roof and the hallway.

Members of the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel community rallied to help the family just hours before the New Year.

Shlomo Boruch Abelesz, a longstanding leader of the Adass community, said he believed it was actually the home of Lubavitchers.

“The good news is that the Adass community seems to have come to their aid with everything from lodging to food and clothes,” he said.

It is estimated that the repair bill will reach about $30,000, according to the fire brigade.

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