Brooklyn firefighters received a big thank you from the Conregation Yetev Lev Satmar on Oct. 27, for saving four Torahs from a synagogue just four days earlier.
"You are like family to us," Rabbi Abe Friedman said. "It's an honor that you came here today."
A fire at the synagogue on South 8th Street in Williamsburg was reported at 4:41 a.m. on Oct. 22.
Firefighters arrived on the scene and found fire on the first floor and in the basement.
When the fire reached a second alarm, Battalion Chief James Yakimovich arrived on the scene. He said the building manager approached him, concerned about the torahs, kept in safes, inside.
He got the combinations to each of the safes and retrieved the four Torahs from three different safes on the first and second floors.
"We do our job without expecting any recognition, so this is a surprise," Chief Yakimovich said. "The Torah dictates how they live their lives and I understand the importance of it."
The hand-painted Torahs are valued at approximately $40,000 apiece. The Rabbi said that more than 1,000 people are members of the synagogue's congregation.
Dozens of rabbis and community members gathered to thank firefighters who helped rescue the scrolls and extinguish the fire.
They presented Brooklyn Borough Commander Chief James Leonard and Chief Yakimovich with plaques for the FDNY members who responded the fire. Each plaque had a clock and an etched scroll that looks like a Torah.
"We work hard to serve the community and make sure everyone's needs are met," Chief Leonard said. "This is a special day for us, as we don't usually get recognized like this.
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