Brush Fire Rips Through Church in Glassell Park

A small brush fire that started off a Southern California freeway ripped through a Mormon church's gabled roof on Tuesday in Glassell Park and injured one firefighter.

Teams of firefighters worked to douse the flames that could be seen through the triangular roof of a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The fire was reported at 2:38 p.m. off the southbound Glendale (2) Freeway at North Verdugo Road, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire had burned about 1/4 of an acre as of 3 p.m. Its cause was not determined.

A large portion of the church's roof collapsed while firefighters were outside trying to save the structure from additional damage.

"Rapidly the roof started failing," said Capt. Mark Egizi of Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Egizi said the one firefighter who was injured was hit in the arm, but was doing "OK."

The church, which has more than 400 members, was built in the 1990's to accommodate the growing Spanish-speaking community.

"We'll miss our church. We're really sad," said Adda Ojeda.

Church members said they hope to rebuild, but plan to share space in the interim with a chapel in nearby Glendale. 

Corey Arvin contributed to this report.

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