WESTWOOD (CBS) — An arson investigation was under way in Westwood on Saturday morning following a fire at a 61-year-old church near the University of California, Los Angeles campus.

(credit: CBS)

The trustee for the Westwood Hills Christian Church says the fire was discovered by a pair of UCLA students who noticed the door of the structure ajar on Friday night.

According to Cristy Fajardo, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, blaze in the 10000 block of Le Conte Avenue broke out about 9:15 p.m.

Two pews and part of the carpet was torched in the blaze. Fire officials say the arson caused an estimated $5,000 in damage and was confined to the church sanctuary, according to KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz.

No injuries were reported.

The Los Angeles Fire Department called in the Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section investigators and activated the House of Worship Task Force, which is standard procedure in arson against churches.

Fajardo says Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department calls the act of arson in a House of Worship, “a particularly repugnant crime.”

According to the its website, construction of the church’s Gothic-style sanctuary was complete in 1951.

Anyone with more information about this case is asked to call authorities at (213) 893-9800.


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