Fire at Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in Manhattan
Fire at Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in ManhattanReuters

New York police believe that the fire that destroyed a historic synagogue on Manhattan's Lower East Side on Sunday could have been arson, a top NYPD official said Tuesday, according to NBC New York.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters that video had been recovered as part of the investigation.

“We do think it’s arson. We were able to recover the video. We’re looking at it now,” said Boyce.

Authorities believe the fire started from within the synagogue, Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol. Fire marshals began conducting a ground search at the synagogue on Norfolk Street Monday, about 12 hours after the three-alarm blaze tore through the 19th century structure, according to NBC News.

There were no injuries in the fire in the abandoned building, which was built in 1850 and once housed the city’s oldest Jewish Orthodox congregation.

The building was originally built as a Baptist church and purchased in 1885 by Beth Hamedrash Hagadol. The synagogue closed in 2007.