The Chicago Sikh community suffered a terrible loss as a temple burned in a fire. No one was hurt, but investigations continue into how the fire started.
Members of the Sikh community in Chicago are still coming to terms with the loss of their temple last week as it burned down. The extensive damage that was done by the fire is still being examined, but it is expected that a total renovation will have to be undertaken before the building is safe to use once more.
There is little understanding at present about exactly how the fire started, but local, state, and federal investigators are all still working on determining the cause. Firefighters received a call at half past eight in the evening last Tuesday, but by the time that they arrived at the Sikh temple, much of the fire damage had already occurred. Smoke was pouring out of the building, and although the firefighters did absolutely everything that they could, they could only try to prevent more damage happening.
The Lake County temple, which is led by Baba Daljit Singh, is the center of the Sikh community there. It is estimated that around sixty families regularly come here for religious services, and they are now left without a place to meet until a replacement location can be found. Baba Daljit Singh mourned, “It’s very sad news because our religious stuff is here. I am burning inside.”
Thankfully, no one was hurt or even inside the Sikh temple at the time that it was on fire, and that is something for which the Sikh community in Chicago is grateful – and they were also able to rescue their copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, which are holy scriptures to those of Sikh faith. However, some good has come of this upsetting fire; two local churches have offered their buildings to the Sikh community, and it is hoped that better cultural understanding between the religious groups will be born out of this tragedy.