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Fire does $150,000 damage to Catholic church in rural Valley Center

March 18, 2011 |  6:14 pm

An early morning fire at a Roman Catholic church in the rural community of Valley Center in northern San Diego County burned a storage area, upper floor and the roof, fire officials said.

Damage to the St. Stephens Roman Catholic Church on Cole Grade Road was set at $150,000. There were no injuries from the fire, which was discovered by two joggers, officials said.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was billowing from doors, windows and the roof of the parish hall adjacent to the church. Smoke, heat and fire damage spread throughout the building.

The fire appears to have been electrical, and arson is not suspected, said the Valley Center fire marshal.

Firefighters from the Valley Center Fire Protection District, CalFire, San Pasqual Reservation Fire Department and Pala Reservation Fire Department were dispatched to the blaze.


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Photo: Fire damage at St. Stephens Roman Catholic Church in Valley Center. Credit: Valley Center Fire Protection District