Northeast Edition

Glassell Park church gutted by fire

GLASSELL PARK — What began as a quarter-acre brush fire spread to a large Mormon church here July 7, engulfing the building’s attic then quickly gutting a major portion of the structure.

The brush fire was initially reported at 2:38 p.m. at the Glendale (2) Freeway and North Verdugo Road, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

It took two hours and 14 minutes before the fire was declared knocked down, Stewart said.

Firefighters were remaining on scene to conduct overhaul operations and apply water to prevent any hotspot flareups, Stewart said.

The dollar loss was still being tabulated.

The fire spread to the eaves of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 3845 Fletcher Drive, and while firefighters initially appeared to have knocked back the flames, the blaze erupted in the building’s attic, sending heavy black smoke over the area.

Flames then burned through the roof, a portion of which collapsed and sent firefighters scrambling for ladders to get off the top of the structure.

Fire crews then went into a defensive mode, pouring water on the blaze to drown the flames. Some flames spread to nearby palm trees.

Two firefighter were injured. One suffered injuries to a hand. A second firefighter was taken to a hospital in fair condition from unspecified injuries.

About 185 firefighters were sent to the scene. Two lanes of the southbound Glendale Freeway were closed while fire crews battled the blaze.