New Evidence Collected, Still No Cause in Duluth Synagogue Fire

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 10, 2019 08:15 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - New evidence has been collected from the scene of the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue fire, but authorities did not have an update on the cause or point of origin of the fire. 

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In an update Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Mike Tusken said they hit the ground running and are still working toward a resolution. He said 20 people are working on the case, which is challenging due to the substantial canvassing involved. 

"We have hundreds of hours of surveillance video that we're taking from multiple businesses and residences in the area that we'll have to review," Chief Tusken said. 

The synagogue is surrounded by apartment buildings, and Tusken said his officers are trying to have as many face-to-face interactions as possible with people who may have seen or heard something. 

3rd St. is open again, but there will still be law enforcement activity at the site. 

"You'll notice that there's a police car there and there's fire folks there as well in case there could be a flare up of the fire. But we are maintaining this as an investigative scene, and that requires 24/7 people to be stationed there to protect the integrity of the scene," Tusken explained. 

According to the police chief, there is no indication of any threats to other places of worship. 

Through a partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, there is now a tip line set up. People can call 1 (888) 283-3473 with information. 

Monday night, the Duluth Fire Department's main priority was stabilizing the building, which they have done. 

"We have taken steps to demolish parts of the building that were leaning and were potentially unsafe to help mitigate some of those risks," Assistant Chief Jon Otis said. "We've also worked to move some of the debris off the city streets." 

Another investigation update is expected in the next few days.


Baihly Warfield

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