Investigators search for cause of fire that destroyed much of San Gabriel Mission

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A fire burned most of San Gabriel Mission’s roof and interior in July 2020. Here, some of the destroyed building is seen in the days after. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

A fire burned most of San Gabriel Mission’s roof and interior in July 2020. Here, some of the destroyed building is seen in the days after. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Investigators on Sunday were continuing to search for the cause of a fire that erupted at the San Gabriel Mission, destroying the roof and much of the interior of the 215-year-old church building.

By Sunday morning, the team had finished combing through the scene and moved to a phase of the probe where each investigator develops a hypothesis on the cause of the fire, which they then try to prove or disprove, said Capt. Antonio Negrete, public information officer for the San Gabriel Fire Department.

As part of the investigation, they were also reviewing video from a security camera that was pointed at an area where a statue of Franciscan Father Junípero Serra was until last week, when the mission moved it out of public view after other statues of Serra were toppled elsewhere.

At 11 a.m. Sunday, Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said Mass in the mission’s chapel as the L.A. Archdiocese launched a fundraising effort to restore the damaged church.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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