GLASSELL PARK — A small brush and grass fire that broke out near the 2 Freeway quickly spread to a Mormon church this afternoon, causing the roof to collapse and other extensive damage.
It took firefighters assisted by water-dropping helicopters more than two hours to put out the fire that left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Fletcher Drive heavily damaged. The blaze was initially reported at about 3 p.m. as a brush and grass fire before spreading to the 25-year-old church, where the firefighters worked with church staff to salvage valuables and documents before the structure’s roof collapsed.
No word yet on what caused the blaze.
Update @ 2:59 pm: Fire has reached the church and eaves have started to to burn, according to LAFD. Over 55 firefighters onscene with two helicopters enroute for air support.
Update@ 3:15 pm: The two right lanes of the southbound lanes of the 2 Freweway between Verdugo and San Fernando have been shut down, says KNX.
Update @ 3:18 pm: Fire in the attic of church, reports LAFD.
Update @ 3:53 pm: Fire has broken through church roof, reports Fox 11.
Update @ 4:09 pm: Traffic on the southbound 2 Freeway now backed up to 134 Freeway, reports one resident
Update @ 4:12 pm: There were no persons inside the church at the time of the fire, staff tell LAFD. Damage to the interior of the 25-year-old church is limited. “Working to defend rest of structure,” says LAFD.
Update @ 4:16 pm: The “integrity of structure at risk” as firefighters are inside church to salvage and protect valuables, says LAFD.
Update @ 4:44 pm: The interior of the church has now suffered significant damage after roof collapse, says LAFD. One firefighter has been injured but it’s not clear if that’s related to the collapsed roof.
Update @ 5 pm: Fire was declared knocked down after 2 hours and 14 minutes.
— miss alix (@hello_alix) July 7, 2015
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