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Priest pulled from burning church in Hacienda Heights

April 16, 2011 | 12:48 pm

Firefighters helped a Catholic priest escape from a church fire in Hacienda Heights early Saturday, before the blaze completely destroyed the house of worship, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The fire, which occurred shortly after midnight Friday, caused an estimated $8 million in damage to St. John Vianney Catholic Church at 1345 Turnbull Canyon Road. According to Supervising Fire Dispatcher Michael Pittman, firefighters pulled the priest from the burning structure. The priest did not suffer any serious injuries, he said.

It took 100 county firefighters more than two hours to douse the flames. "The building was fully engulfed in fire," Pittman said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to Sheriff's Lt. Arthur Scott.


Photos: St. John Vianney Catholic Church fire

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Photo: Firefighters put out the blaze at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times