A fire that damaged a 129-year-old Episcopalian church Saturday morning in Pasadena was caused by arson but is not classified as a hate crime, authorities said Saturday.
The non-injury fire at Church of the Angels was reported at 2:20 a.m. at 1100 N. Avenue 64, just east of Los Angeles city limits.
“Arson was committed along with vandalism, burglary and graffiti but it is not classified as a hate crime at this time,” said Lisa Derderian of the Pasadena Fire Department. “Fire and police will continue to investigate. A few historic statues were significantly damaged and there is fire and smoke damage inside the church.”
The on-scene investigation was concluded, Derderian said. “We turned over the church to Father Robert Gaestel, who has been with the church 35 years.”
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded and battled the fire at the church as it was originally reported at a Los Angeles address. The Pasadena Fire Department was notified of the blaze after being given a corrected address and took over the investigation, according to the LAFD’s Amy Bastman.
It took 41 LAFD firefighters to knock down the blaze in 14 minutes, Bastman said.
In addition to arson investigators, the House of Worship Task Force also was summoned to investigate, according to Bastman.
The building, which was built in 1889, is the oldest church along the Arroyo Seco waterway, according to the church’s website.
—City News Service
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