fireBet Shemesh Fire Services Spokesman

An electrical short in an air conditioner in the women's section of the Belz Beit Aryeh synagogue in Ashdod caused a fire, harming its Jewish holy books. The synagogue's Torah scrolls were rescued before they were harmed.

The synagogue was housed in a mobile structure, which was severely damaged in the fire.

No one was in the synagogue when the fire broke out. Passersby and neighbors who noticed the orange tongues licking the outside of the synagogue alerted the fire department, who promptly arrived to extinguish the fire.

Members of the synagogue reported many of the holy books to be severely damaged. However, the Torah scrolls themselves were unharmed, having been rescued by worshipers who lived in the vicinity of the synagogue.