Tulsa Synagogue Fire Investigation Continues

Wednesday, January 28th 2009, 3:11 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK -- Tulsa firefighters continue to extinguish burning debris on the scene of the Old Temple Israel. The synagogue caught fire at 3:30 Tuesday morning at 1400 South Cheyenne.

Captain Michael Baker, Public Information Officer with the Tulsa Fire Department said investigators visited the scene Wednesday and determined the building has no internal structural components in tact or reliable enough to prevent a collapse of the exterior walls.

There are steel beams 20 feet from the ground that are supporting brickwork. Baker said these beams often become weakened after exposure to temperatures over 1000 degrees and cannot be trusted to provide support.

Related Story: 1/27/2009 Tulsa Fire Crews Battle Synagogue Fire

The property owner's architect and structural engineer visited the site. They're making an initial evaluation of the structure to determine the ability to support and salvage the remaining structure.

Fire Investigators are working closely with these representatives to ensure that they can enter safely, evaluate evidence and maintain as much of the structure as possible.

Baker said investigators may be able to enter the property within the next two days.