Source: The Richmond Hill Times
On March 14, 2002, The Richmond Hill Times featured the article "Sikh temple burns, 8 hurt as leaders vow to rebuild." It reported, "A mysterious fire destroyed the 118th Street temple that served as the cultural and religious epicenter of the Richmond Hill Sikh community early Friday morning, leaving a 37-year old visitor from India in critical condition and injuring seven others... 'I still love this gurdwara because it was the first place I came when I came to America,' said Gurdipi Singh, who lives in Glen Cove, L.I. He traveled to the scene of the fire with his wife and daughter to pay tribute to the temple, known to Sikhs as the gateway to the United States." The article continued, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Helen Marshall and other political leaders arrived on the scene to offer their condolences and help. ... Temple leaders sounded their own confident call to rebuild. 'It is not a question of if, it is a question of when,' said Harpreet Singh Toor, chairman of the society. 'We will work to bring it back bigger and stronger than what it was.'"