NATIONAL NEWS

Arson investigation underway after fire burns Los Angeles church for second time in 2 years

Jun 4, 2023, 3:25 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An arson investigation was under way Sunday after fire damaged a nearly 100-year-old Los Angeles church for the second time in less than two years, authorities.

Flames broke out shorty before 7 p.m. Saturday in the sanctuary of St. John’s United Methodist Church and spread into a balcony, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

More than 30 firefighters took about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze at the two-story church in the Watts neighborhood, the statement said. No injuries were reported.

The blaze occurred as St. John’s was undergoing renovations from another fire that caused major damage in February 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported.

After the earlier fire, worshippers moved services to the parking lot, where they were still being held as of this weekend, the Times said.

The church, built in the Spanish Colonial style with a red-tile roof and beige exterior, is celebrating 97 years of ministry in the Watts community south of downtown LA, according to its Facebook page.

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Arson investigation underway after fire burns Los Angeles church for second time in 2 years