Attempted Arson in Suburban Chicago Synagogue
This past Sunday morning, a number of us were staying later for a Shiur after prayers, when suddenly, the rabbi and a congregant smelled smoke. They went outside where it seemed to be coming from and they noticed a raging fire on the wood that holds down the tarp that covers the Sukkah boards. The rabbi was holding a cup of coffee at the time that he went outside, which he promptly threw at the blaze to try to help put it out. Another congregant got the shul's fire extinguisher to put out the fire, and 20 seconds later, the fire was no more. The police and fire department came promptly to investigate.
Now, mind you, the Sukkah boards are right next to the shul building, and could have easily spread. We believe it to be arson because the medium to carry the fire was found at the scene - that Sunday's Chicago Tribune. B"H, no other accelerant was used. Because of this, it was probably done by an amateur, but it was very disturbing nonetheless.