Fire burns new building on Los Angeles LDS Temple grounds

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 10 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

Investigators examine a building damaged by fire believed started by arsonists.

Al Seib, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Firefighters responded early Tuesday morning to a fire on the grounds of the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

According to reporter Sara Fay of the Century City Patch, the fire damaged a 4,000-square-foot building that was under construction on the temple grounds. No one was injured in the fire, and no other buildings on the temple grounds were damaged.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the building that was burned "was a house under construction on the church grounds."

"'It was going to be a house for the mission president,' said Fay Smith, a missionary who works in the public affairs office. 'Its blackened ribs are still standing.'"

The fire was reported at 1:01 a.m. and was out by 1:27 a.m., a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said.

The possibility of arson is being explored by fire department officials, which is the standard response for any fire at a religious site.

The Los Angeles Temple was dedicated in 1956, the tenth LDS temple to be dedicated and the first in California. It was recently closed for a seismic overhaul and renovation of the baptistery, and was reopened in 2006 — the same year as its 50th anniversary.

Video shot by Scott McFarlane.

EMAIL: jwalker@desnews.com

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