For nearly an hour, 45 firefighters battled to extinguish the flames that broke out just after 11pm in the UD Chabad Center for Jewish Life Tuesday night at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
Crews remained on scene for three hours to put out hot spots and complete the overhaul. No one was injured, but the damage to the building was described as “significant.” The property is owned by Wilmington-based Chabad of Delaware, not the university.
It’s not clear how the fire got started, but the state Fire Marshal’s Office told WDEL Radio the building was unoccupied at the time.
Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire coming from the rear of the first floor, according to the Newark Post, quoting Deputy Chief A.J. Schall, of Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Company. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
The damage is estimated at approximately $75,000 worth, and with classes due to start next week, the place called the “Jewish student’s home away from home” has a lot to do to get ready. The UD Chabad Center for Jewish Life offers Shabbat meals, weekly classes, discussions and various social events. It has a full-time rabbi, and during the school year, it is open 24/7.
In the meantime, the regular Chabad Lubavitch of Delaware website seems to be standing in.