Flames engulf a 2-story church in South Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) — More than 100 firefighters battled a major emergency blaze on Sunday that destroyed a two-story church in the South Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Firefighters battled the flames for 1 hour 40 minutes. They stayed on the scene for a while pouring water on hot spots and smoldering debris, said Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire was reported at 2:22 a.m. at 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 several firefighters, he said. One firefighter was taken to hospital by paramedics with moderate injuries, while another injured firefighter was in fair condition and would require follow-up treatment later.

The defensive fight was aimed at extinguishing the flames and protecting structures near the burning building.

A video on the Citizen app showed flames breaking through the roof of the church.

After the fire 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 investigating whether the fire was deliberately started, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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