Investigation underway after 'suspicious' fire damages church in Boyle Heights

A "suspicious'' fire damaged a two-story church in Boyle Heights Thursday morning, and the multi-agency House of Worship Task Force was sent to investigate.

The non-injury blaze was reported about 2:05 a.m. at Resurrection Catholic Church in the 3300 block of East Opal Street and took about five dozen firefighters nearly a half-hour to extinguish.

The fire was primarily centered on the first floor of the church, and the flames were kept from the main sanctuary, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott. He said there were signs of vandalism at the scene, and the cause of the fire "appears to be suspicious.''

The multi-agency House of Worship Task Force is also investigating a Jan. 13 fire in Pasadena that damaged the Church of the Angels, a 129-year-old Episcopalian church at 1100 N. Avenue 64. That non-injury blaze, which broke out at 2:20 a.m., is also considered suspicious but to date has not been classified as a hate crime, according to Lisa Dederian of the Pasadena Fire Department.

A few historic statues were "significantly damaged,'' and there was fire and smoke damage inside the church, she said.

Portions of video used in this story are restricted to the Los Angeles area.

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