The Washington Post

Arson suspected in fire that destroyed church

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Arson investigat­ors from the Los Angeles Fire Department were combing through the charred and smoldering remains of Victory Baptist Church on Sunday after the neighborho­od landmark in South Los Angeles was destroyed.

The fire broke out at 2:22 a.m. Sunday, said Nicholas Prange, a fire department spokespers­on. Two firefighte­rs were injured.

Victory Baptist Church has played a major role in the spiritual and political history of South Los Angeles.

Founded in a local storefront on Easter Sunday in 1943, the church moved into its current building a year later. In the 1950s, its Sunday night services were broadcast on television nationally. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church in 1964.

The church is now the scene of an active arson investigat­ion.

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