Fast-moving fire destroys building near Hindu temple
Updated On: Sep 06 2013 06:12:05 AM CDT
Prayer turned to heartache after a raging fire broke out near a temple in Schuylkill County.
Flames spread fast and destroyed a building near the temple to which nearly 100,000 Hindus from across the country make a pilgrimage every year.
The beautiful VRAJ Temple is built on 300 acres in Wayne Twp., Schuylkill Co. A peaceful Thursday, filled with prayer and worship, was interrupted by fast-moving flames.
"Fire blowing out of the second and third floor and out the windows," said First Asst. Chief Chris Krause, Summit Station Fire Co.
Heavy smoke quickly billowed over top of the building near the temple. The fire drew a major response, including several fire companies from Berks County. Crews battling the 2-alarmer struggled for more than an hour to put it out.
"It was very bad on the top floor, everything was in flames," said Jayesh Bhagat, a volunteer at the temple.
The building where the fire happened is known as Krishna Krupa. The Hindu temple attracts massive crowds, and officials said this weekend, there were about 5,000 people there. Officials were very thankful no one was hurt.
"Luckily, nobody was there and the building is used for overnight stays on weekends when someone is coming for prayer and everything," said Bhagat.
The building's windows were blown out and scraps of wood were hanging from the roof. At first, officials were concerned about a possible explosion with a propane tank sitting right outside. They were also worried about the fire spreading to the building next door. Construction of that building was completed in June.
"I don't know how much loss it's been, but hopefully it will build up fast and we can stay there again," said Bhagat.
Fire may have caused destruction, but officials said their faith will prevail.
Fire investigators are working to determine an exact cause.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Liberty High School students dismissed following lock down
23 students taken to hospital from school bus crash on Route 222
Sleeping driver hits pole; police station, others lose electricity
Man slapped with $43,000 water bill
Large fish washes ashore along Delaware River
Amber Alert cancelled for child abducted from Cumru home
Thirsty intruder wearing pajama pants leads police on chase
Bethlehem City Council briefed on Liberty H.S. emergency response
NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 teenagers
Fiery crash kills driver of car in Monroe County