VAN NUYS (CNS) — A fire damaged a building on the grounds of a Mormon church in Van Nuys, but no one was hurt.
The blaze was reported at 2:13 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 15555 Saticoy St., said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire department.
Flames were confined to a kitchen, classroom, hallway and attic, and the 71 firefighters who responded prevented the fire from spreading to the church’s sanctuary, Humphrey said. The blaze was put out in 54 minutes.
“Fire loss is being tabulated with the assistance of church officials,” Humphrey said. “The cause of the greater-alarm fire remains the focus of an active and customary fire department investigation.”
The House of Worship Arson Task Force was notified, but its personnel did not respond to the scene because there was no indication the fire was the type that would require a deployment of task force investigators, Humphrey said.
It was not known if the fire was related to the weekend vandalism of two West Covina churches, cases that were being investigated as probable hate crimes.
Security cameras showed graffiti being spray-painted on statues and other areas of St. Christopher Catholic Church, 629 S. Glendora Ave., shortly before 4 a.m. on Feb. 25, said West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez.
The video showed a masked man dressed in dark clothing spray-painting graffiti on the grounds of the church, including on a statue of the patron saint, St. Christopher, and the Virgin Mary.
Among graffiti were references to various Biblical verses and the phrase “bow down to Jehovah,” Lopez said.
Also vandalized some time over the weekend was nearby West Covina Christian Church, which had the words “Jehovah lives” spray-painted on its sign.