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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

3 Firefighters Injured Battling Blaze - Fire Destroys A Historic Church In Los Angeles

Two Los Angeles City firefighters were injured Tuesday, October 8, 2013, while battling a fire at a historic two-story church in South Los Angeles.

The fire at 1001 E. 27th Street, which was formerly known as the Crouch Memorial Church of God In Christ, was reported at 9:27 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The attic was well involved in fire when firefighters arrived.

Fire roared through a 19th century wooden church and two firefighters had to be rescued when part of the historic structure collapsed while they were inside.

Two of the 150 Los Angeles City firefighters on scene were injured when the wooden church’s roof and second story partially collapsed while they were performing an interior attack, according to officials.

The two injuried firefighters were taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said. One of the men was in stable condition and would be held overnight for evaluation, while the other was expected to be released.

One firefighter was working on the second floor pulling hose for other firefighters when there was a loud cracking sound as the collapse occurred. The firefighter ended up down on the first floor among debris, Fire Capt. Laurie Stolp told reporters.

Fire Chief Brian Cummings said he was monitoring the fire by radio in his office when he heard of the structural collapse and that firefighters were unaccounted for.

"That's the worst thing that you can ever hear as a firefighter or a fire chief — to know that some of our own are in peril," he said.

Several hours later, a third firefighter working outside the church was taken to a hospital for treatment of an injury described as not life-threatening, according to Scott. There were no details on the cause.

Fire Chief Cummings said firefighters had mounted an aggressive interior attack when the collapse occurred.

After the rescue, firefighters continued the attack only from outside, shooting streams of water from hoses and cannons.

An LAFD arson team and the department’s House of Worship Task Force, which includes personnel from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, will investigate the cause of the fire.

The official cause of the fire was unknown.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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