[symple_googlemap title=”South LA church fire” location=”8300 block of South Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”16″]

A pre-dawn fire Monday tore through a three-story building once used as a church in South Los Angeles, but despite the collapse of the roof as fire crews battled the flames from inside and out, no human injuries were reported, according to the fire department.

Firefighters did assist a dog that reportedly jumped from the second floor and suffered a leg injury, said Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The dog, a pit bull mix, was treated for a broken leg. A nonprofit group called Ghetto Rescue is covering the dog’s medical bills and trying to locate its owner.

The blaze in the 8300 block of South Hoover Street in Vermont Knolls was first reported about 5:15 a.m. The building was used for shelter by transients and initial reports indicated people were trapped in the building, Scott said.

An “aggressive attack” by firefighters and a “rapid search” of the interior determined that whoever was inside the building “had self-exited” by the time fire crews arrived.

About 125 firefighters were sent to the scene before the flames were declared out about 7 a.m., Scott said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“The church building suffered significant damage and the estimated dollar loss … is being tabulated. The flames were confined to the structure of origin and did not extend into nearby buildings,” according to an LAFD statement.

“Belongings to multiple homeless individuals” were in the building at the time of the fire, Scott said.

—City News Service

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