Fire in Kiryas Joel, 4th in March, Hopefully Independent Insurance Investigations will Commence



Another Fire in Kiryas Joel, the Fourth in March


Yesterday there was a fire in Kiryas Joel, which destroyed a 3 family home and a basement synagogue at 12 Lizensk Boulevard and Schunnemunk Road. The basement synagogue, likely there to avoid the tax implications associated with owning a home and not a 501(c)(3) religious entity, could hold, according to an ABCNews report, between 30 and 50 people.

Both reports on the fire indicate that it was difficult to fight because there were numerous people standing around interfering with the firefighters and because the streets are so narrow and the area so crowded, it is difficult for fire and emergency medical personnel to approach the scene.

The fire started somewhere between 1 and 2 pm.

Thankfully, all of the people got out without injury.  A firefighter was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. According to the reports on the fire, firefighters from eight companies were called in. No surprise, the building was gutted and will be demolished (and rebuilt, of course).

theyeshivaworld, reported that “Sifrei Torah Saved From Kiryas Joel Fire.” We had no doubt that there would be no Sifrei Torah destroyed in the fire. Most of the books were likely removed before the fire started so that when the fire broke out (was set), there would be little need to carry holy books out of a burning building.

A Google search on fires in Kiryas Joel  and cross referencing is quite staggering in terms of how many fires there are in such a small neighborhood, the similarities in terms of times of day and the presence or lack thereof of children at the scene. With only 1.1 square miles and so many fires, with so many families comprised of numerous children, disproportionately few of the fires in the neighborhood have required removing children from the homes. Most of the fires over the last few years have occurred (or were set) during hours when children were not there and in nearly none of the fires were holy books burned.

On March 11, 2016, recordonline reported that firefighters in the Village of Kiryas Joel were called to three separate fires, one a serious 3-alarm blaze that broke out in the late morning on Satmar Drive. The other two, in the evening on Sasev Court and Rovna Court, respectively. The two latter fires were called in around 7:30pm.

We are not the first to report on fires within the neighborhood of Kiryas Joel, nor is this the first time that someone writing on the topic has speculate that arson is involved. And, while Arson has not yet been formally suspected in yesterday’s fire, we hope that someone will take a closer look. Perhaps rather than relying on the local firefighters, the various insurance companies making payouts on likely claims would consider sending in their own people to investigate.



16 thoughts on “Fire in Kiryas Joel, 4th in March, Hopefully Independent Insurance Investigations will Commence

  1. Yeah hitlar was talking the same way canvu explain this hate were u even around did u see what was going here do u kniw what u r talking about??

    • Its always about Hitler isnt it? Can there ever be a criticism of the bad or possibly bad behavior of Chassidim without invoking Hitler? According to you, because of Hitler your community can do no financial wrong. Instead of bringing Hitler Y”S into the conversation to divert attention from the actual facts why not dispute the allegations with other facts? I know they dont teach you those critical thinking skills in school but surely you know someone who can both speak English and help you TRY to prove that indeed there are not an unusual number of suspicious fires in the community? At the next fire why not take pictures of whats going on so we can see who is right and who isnt?

    • RE: New York State Homeland Security

      Property Insurance Loss Register (PILR)

      New York State participates in a Property Insurance Loss Register (PILR) in conjunction with Insurance Services Offices, Inc., (ISO). The PILR is a database utilized in an effort to combat arson fires with a fraud based motive. The essential information in the register can be utilized by fire and police investigators to research prior loss histories, identify patterns and detect potentially fraudulent insurance claims resulting from a fire. Investigators can contact OFPC’s Inspections and Investigations Branch to determine if a property, or a particular individual, has experienced previous fire losses.

  2. Where are the arson investigators, from the insurance companies (who keep records of this), and the municipal fire departments???

    • We are hoping that the insurance companies start to look more closely and bring in their own investigators. We have our doubts whether the Kiryas Joel fire department would report arson in cases like yesterday’s fire even if it were a certainty, obvious to them.

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