Candle Ignites Fire, Destroys Buddhist Temple in Garden Grove

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Two women managed to escape uninjured after a burning candle ignited a fire at a Buddhist temple in Garden Grove, officials said Wednesday. Crews responded to the Chua Vinh Minh temple in the 11700 block of Magnolia Street after receiving a call about the blaze at around 11:40 p.m., Garden Grove Fire Capt. Thanh Nguyen said. Firefighters arrived to heavy fire in the attic and roof areas. A smoke alarm and a neighbor had woken up the two women who were asleep inside, and they were able to get out of the structure before crews arrived, the Fire Department said. A neighbor, Chin Nguyen, said he was in his room when he heard popping sounds outside. When he saw the fire, he alerted the residents and grabbed a water hose to try containing the flames. Capt. Nguyen described the building as a house that had been turned into a Buddhist temple. He said the property, valued at about $400,000 with another $50,000 worth inside, was likely a total loss. The Fire Department said an unattended burning candle on an altar on the front porch adjacent to the structure sparked a fire and spread to the building. The Vietnamese community celebrated the Lunar New Year on Tuesday. Responding firefighters, including crews from the Orange County Fire Authority, Anaheim Fire and Rescue and the Huntington Beach Department extinguished the blaze in about 30 minutes.
 

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