The news is out: [SAN GABRIEL, Calif. (AP) — A fire early Saturday destroyed the rooftop and most of the interior of a Catholic church in California that was undergoing renovation to mark its upcoming 250th anniversary celebration.
Fire alarms at the San Gabriel Mission rang around 4 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they saw smoke rising from the wooden rooftop in one corner of the historic structure, San Gabriel Fire Capt. Paul Negrete said.
Firefighters entered the church and tried to beat back the flames, but they had to retreat when roofing and other structural materials began to fall, Negrete said.
“We were trying to fight it from the inside. We weren’t able to because it became unsafe,” he said.
After evacuating the church, the crew was joined by up to 50 firefighters who tried to douse water on the 50-foot-high structure from ladder trucks, he said.
“The roof is completely gone,” the captain said. “The fire traversed the wood rapidly. The interior is pretty much destroyed up into the altar area.”
The cause of the fire was under investigation, Negrete said. He said the recent toppling of monuments to Junipero Serra, the founder of the California mission system who has long been a symbol of oppression among Indigenous activists, will be a factor in the investigation.]
It’s quite amazing that an omnipotent and omniscient God fails, every time, to protect his belongings. God should have known the fire was coming and done something to prevent his building from burning.