A 129-year-old, strikingly beautiful West Pasadena church suffered major damage and the loss of at least one significant historical statue after a vandal or vandals broke in early Saturday morning, spray painted graffiti, destroyed property and set fire to the structure.

Although the fire was quickly extinguished by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the Church of the Angels, at 1100 Avenue 64, suffered major damage from the assault, Pasadena Fire Dept. spokesperson Lisa Derderian said.

The fire was reported by a 911 caller in the neighborhood who saw smoke at about 2:20 a.m.  A Los Angeles Fire Dept. spokesperson said 41 firefighters knocked down the blaze in 14 minutes.

“Very sad as far as the historical significance,” Derderian said, noting in particular the damage to “a statue that’s solid oak that was built with the original church in 1889.”

Derderian said a joint arson task force comprised of investigators from the Pasadena Fire department and neighboring jurisdictions will be handling the investigation.

“Notifications will be made to other agencies depending if the need exists to escalate to a state or federal level because it is a church,” she said.

Full story at PasadenaNow.com.