A fast-moving fire destroyed the Chabad House in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday afternoon, the last day of Passover, with the local emissaries vowing to rebuild.

The fire, which destroyed the building, came hours after a grease fire earlier on April 23 in a building next door to the center was fully extinguished by the local fire department.

No one was injured in the blaze, and the Torah scrolls were rescued with no damage. However, many other items including prayer books, the ark and the building itself were destroyed.

Arson is not suspected, according to officials with Chabad of Kentucky.

“The Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, my personal mentor and the foremost Jewish leader of the modern era—envisioned a Chabad House as a spiritual home where every Jew is welcome,” said Rabbi Avrohom Litvin, regional director of Chabad of Kentucky. “For so many, we did not just lose our place of prayer, but our place of peace, community and belonging.”

Litvin said he is taking some cues from the responses to the destruction of towns in Western Kentucky last winter following a series of deadly tornadoes.

“Following the terrible storms, Chabad was immediately on the ground helping those in need. We were struck by the incredible resolve shown by everyone we met,” said Litvin. “Following their example, and inspired by the Rebbe’s boundless optimism and love, we know our best days are ahead, and we will continue on from strength to strength.”

JNS

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