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Boyle Heights church damaged by fire and vandalism [updated]

By LUCY GUANUNA

BOYLE HEIGHTS — Arson and police investigators are working to determine the cause of an early morning fire — described as “suspicious” by officials — and vandalism at a Boyle Heights church.

Update on Jan. 27:  Suspected arsonist arrested in connection with Boyle Heights church fire

The blaze at Resurrection Catholic Church in the 3300 block of Opal Street was reported at 2:30 a.m., according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire was knocked down by 62 firefighters and was contained to a vestibule and candle room near the entrance of the 7,500-square-foot church but did not spread to the main sanctuary, said officials. In addition to the fire, statues outside the church was knocked over, according to a video shot by OnSceneTV.com.

Officials said the church’s school plans to hold classes today but Opal Street will remain closed during the investigation and cleanup.

Firefighters are now conducting salvage operations and water removal. No injuries were reported.

Today’s fire comes about two weeks after  the 129-year-old Church of the Angels on the border of Pasadena and Highland Park was also damaged by fire and vandalism. Officials said similar incidents have been reported at other houses of worship in recent years.

Update @1:25 pm:  Councilman Jose Huizar issued a statement after meeting with  Monsignor John Moretta and investigators. “I assured Monsignor Moretta that we will do everything in our power to help them rebuild and come back stronger than ever. Monsignor Moretta and Resurrection Church have led so many battles to help Boyle Heights. We stand ready to return the favor.”

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