World Sikhs Grieve Loss Of Reno Gurdwara, Nevada, Vow To Rebuild And Continue


1947-2014 (Archived)
Sikhs grieve loss of Reno temple, vow to rebuild and continue midnight last night, the Sikh temple on Locust and East Second Streets went up in flames and was almost completely destroyed.

According to Balwinder Singh, a member of the temple, everything was fine when the temple’s priest left the building at 9 p.m. But by about midnight, the priest received a call about the fire, Singh said.

Singh, the priest and several other members of the temple came immediately to the building, where Singh said firefighters were already on the scene and the fire was controlled quickly.

“They did a good job,” Singh said, but added that he received little information from firefighters about the fire. Singh said he was very surprised by the fire. As unexpected as it was, an emotional Singh said members of the temple are not yet sure what they will do going forward.

“I don’t know yet about what we will do,” he said. “It’s just too . . . very emotional . . . all of our holy books, our whole library, that is all burned . . . that was everything to us.”

For now, he said, they are banding together through the difficult time.
“We can be sad together, because what can we do about that. It’s very painful,” he said, wiping off a tear.

Area resident Josh Vestal, who lives just behind the temple, said his home was also broken into last night, in the same period of time that the fire started.

After breaking through the window on his door, burglars stole his telephone, some DVDs and his electric guitar and bass, Vestal said. They also broke his freezer open with a pick ax, though he had nothing of value inside. Vestal said other area residents had had their homes broken into as well.

Vestal was not at home when the burglary occurred, and when he returned home about 12:30 a.m., he said he just caught the end of the fire.

“It was still smoking and flaming, but nothing like these images I have seen on the news (from the height of the blaze),” he said. Firemen were evacuating homes around the area, he said.

“This area keeps getting worse,” Vestal said of the area around his residence.

Vestal said he was not worried about the fire despite his home being just yards away from the temple, mostly because he is on the back side of the building, which is brick.

“I was more worried that someone might have been inside (the temple),” he said.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Thanks Aman ji for finding a photo of the Gurdwara before the fire. Mai Harinder ji has just sent 2 additional photos of the now destroyed Gurdwara. Unfortunately, Guru ji was also burnt in the loss.


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