A historic black church in South Los Angeles was destroyed by fire over the weekend and investigators are trying to determine if it was set on fire.
Victory Baptist Church caught fire shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday. Three LA City firefighters were injured when the ceiling collapsed during the blaze. The three firefighters are now recovering at home.
On Monday, as arson investigators searched the wreckage, they were able to recover the pulpit and two pianos.
These items are an important part of the church’s history which has been visited by famous musicians like Billy Presto and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.
“It shows you that despite all of that, joy came out of it,” said the Reverend Corey Williams, associate minister of Victory Baptist Church. “See our history continue and we will fulfill our calling at Victory Baptist Church.”
The minister says someone tried to set fire to a palm tree in front of the church a week ago. The Houses of Worship Task Force, which investigates all fires in houses of worship, is investigating the cause. Firefighters said the fire was burning in the attic when they arrived.