Fire officials are investigating whether a fire ignited at a Boyle Heights church early Thursday morning was an incidence of arson, and looking into whether it could be connected to other recent incidents.
Firefighters first responded to the flames that broke out at Resurrection Catholic Church on the 3300 block of East Opal Street just after 2 a.m., said Capt. Erik Scott with the Los Angeles Fire Department.
It took 62 firefighters just under 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze.
The inferno sparked on the first of the church’s two floors and was mostly contained there, charring the main entrance and vestibule.
The worship area itself was not damaged and no injuries were reported, officials said.
After the flames were knocked down, firefighters discovered vandalism on both the interior and exterior, including to some statues that surround the structure’s exterior.
Frank Naranjo told KTLA he and his fiancee, Alicia Torres, had planned to wed at Resurrection Church on Saturday. The couple, both of whom grew up and continue to live in East Los Angeles, is devastated.
Although Naranjo originally believe the wedding would go on in a different location, he and Torres later informed KTLA it had been cancelled.
“It’s really sad,” Naranjo said. “We went through all this planning for over six months, family coming from out of town and out of state. They’re here now and there’s no church.”
Authorities are still searching for those responsible for setting fire to a 129-year-old church in Pasadena earlier this month.
Vandalism was also involved in that incidence, which occurred at an Episcopal church, according to the Los Angeles Times. The graffiti spray-painted on that church’s sidewalk can be further connected to similar markings left at a San Fernando church in November 2016, the newspaper reported.
Last February, West Covina police opened a felony hate crime investigation after a church there was vandalized with graffiti on its walls, statues and pavement.
Full story at ktla.com.