LOS ANGELES – More than 100 firefighters battled a major emergency fire Sunday that destroyed a two-story church in the South Park area of Los Angeles.
Firefighters battled the flames for one hour and 40 minutes. They remained on the scene for some time to pour water on hot spots and smoldering debris, said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Nicholas Prange.
The fire was reported at 2:22 a.m. at the Victory Baptist Church, 4802 S. McKinley Ave., Prange said.
Firefighters ended the offensive battle and took up defensive positions outside the building after the interior structure collapsed, trapping multiple firefighters, he said. One firefighter was taken to a hospital by paramedics with moderate injuries while another injured firefighter was in fair condition and would seek follow-up treatment later.
The defensive fight was aimed at putting out the flames and protecting structures near the burning building.
Video on the Citizen app showed flames lapping up through the roof of the church.
After the blaze was extinguished, arson investigators and members of the House of Worship Task Force, a multi-agency effort that seeks to identify and capture individuals who target churches in Los Angeles, began their inquiry into the possibility the fire had been set purposefully, the Los Angeles Times reported.