Fire damages building at Los Angeles Mormon temple
Published: January 10, 2012 11:31AM
Updated: January 10, 2012 11:32AM

LOS ANGELES • A pre-dawn fire Tuesday badly damaged a building under construction at the nation’s second-largest Mormon temple, and arson investigators were trying to determine the cause.

The blaze was reported in West Los Angeles. It took 48 firefighters less than a half-hour to douse the flames, Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence said.

He did not know the extent of damage, but televised reports showed large sections of wood framing were charred black.

The fire did not damage the existing Los Angeles California Temple, a 257-foot-high building dedicated in 1956, or its 13 acres of grounds.

It is the second-largest Mormon temple in the U.S. after the temple in Salt Lake City.

Because the blaze occurred on church property, the Fire Department’s special house of worship arson task force was called in to investigate, Spence said.

A call to temple representatives seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The fire erupted exactly two months after an arson fire at a construction site forced dozens of people to flee neighboring homes in nearby Brentwood.

Authorities said the pre-dawn fire on Nov. 10 damaged the wood framing for a six-unit townhouse complex.

As many as 10 families were displaced.

No arrests were made.