Three firefighters were injured battling a fire at a century-old church in south central Los Angeles early Sunday, including one who was rescued when the ceiling collapsed on him, authorities said.
Fire crews responded to the Victory Baptist Church (4802 S Mckinley Avenue) around 2:20 a.m. and immediately encountered intense flames and smoke as they rushed inside to try to save the church.
About 25 minutes into the battle, crews sent out a “mayday” call.
“The mayday was an announcement of an emergency…where we had a partial roof collapse of this building while firefighters were inside mounting an attack,” David Ortiz, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said. “The firefighters that were closest affected the rescue and had to cut away material that had trapped (a crew) member when the ceiling and the walls collapsed on him.”
The injured firefighter was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Two other firefighters sustained minor injuries as the church walls, which were made of heavy plaster, collapsed.
The building could not be saved, Ortiz said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation, including by LAFD’s arson unit.
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