Southern California

Retired Nuns Shelter in Place as Flames From Getty Fire Threaten Convent

Some 450 students from Mt. St. Mary's University were evacuated and more than 80 retired nuns and staff at the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet sheltered in place as the Getty Fire scorched 500 acres of brush in the Santa Monica Mountains on Monday.

The convent lost power and generators were put into place as backup, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Miguel Escoboedo. Outside smoke and embers burned dangerously close to Saint Mary's, a private Catholic university.

Some 1,100 firefighters battled the blaze that prompted mandatory evacuation orders, which were lifted between Sunset Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, from Temescal Canyon Road to Chautauqua Boulevard.

The retired nuns, some of whom were on oxygen tanks, were scared, but in good spirits, Escobedo said.

"We went in there we called them down," he said. "We joked with them a little bit and make sure their medical needs work. They are a great bunch of ladies."

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