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A 97-year-old Los Angeles church catches on fire for the 2nd time in 2 years

A nearly 100-year-old church in Los Angeles caught on fire for the second time in less than two years and is now being investigated as arson, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire started in the sanctuary of the St. John's United Methodist Church Saturday evening and moved up to the balcony. The cause has not been determined yet, the fire department said.

The fire burned for about 20 minutes before 32 firefighters extinguished it. No injuries were reported, the fire department said.

In February 2022, another fire broke out in the sanctuary of the church, located in the Watts neighborhood of southern Los Angeles. No one was hurt, but the sanctuary was significantly damaged, the church said on its website.

At the time of Saturday's fire, the church had still been holding services in the parking lot while renovating the building after the first fire.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie