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Sat Jul 11, 2020, 07:19 PM

Fire destroys much of 249-year-old church in California

Source: AP

By MARCIO SANCHEZ and DAISY NGUYEN

SAN GABRIEL, Calif. (AP) — A fire early Saturday destroyed the rooftop and most of the interior of a Catholic church in California that was undergoing renovation to mark its upcoming 250th anniversary celebration.

Fire alarms at the San Gabriel Mission rang around 4 a.m., and when firefighters arrived they saw smoke rising from the wooden rooftop in one corner of the historic structure, San Gabriel Fire Capt. Paul Negrete said.

He said firefighters entered the church and tried to beat back the flames, but they had to retreat when roofing and other structural materials began to fall, Negrete said.

“We were trying to fight it from the inside, we weren’t able to because it became unsafe,” he said.



After evacuating the church, the crew was joined by up to 50 firefighters who tried to douse water on the 50-foot-high structure from ladder trucks, he said.

Read more: https://apnews.com/4174e05ec7b8725b320638f57d6c400a

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Fire destroys much of 249-year-old church in California (Original post)
Omaha Steve Jul 11 OP
niyad Jul 11 #1
BigmanPigman Jul 11 #4
niyad Jul 11 #6
marybourg Jul 12 #13
ucrdem Jul 11 #2
bucolic_frolic Jul 11 #7
Xolodno Jul 11 #8
regnaD kciN Jul 11 #9
demosincebirth Jul 11 #3
regnaD kciN Jul 11 #10
ucrdem Jul 12 #15
ansible Jul 12 #23
denbot Jul 11 #5
No Vested Interest Jul 12 #14
denbot Jul 12 #16
ucrdem Jul 12 #17
Post removed Jul 12 #18
ucrdem Jul 12 #19
denbot Jul 12 #20
ucrdem Jul 12 #21
Post removed Jul 12 #22
demosincebirth Jul 12 #24
ucrdem Jul 13 #25
Retrograde Jul 13 #27
Demovictory9 Jul 13 #26
Yeehah Jul 12 #11
Raine Jul 12 #12

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 07:41 PM

1. Interesting. We have been talking about the CA mission system, and that murderer, junipero

serra, and now one of them is destroyed by fire.

I just hope that nobody was hurt.

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 09:02 PM

4. Do Catholics believe in Karma?

"California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized. It wasn’t until 1769 that the first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, was built in California at present-day San Diego. It was the first of 21 missions, which would become the primary means for the Spaniards to subjugate the natives. The leader of this effort was Franciscan friar Junípero Serra.

Despite whatever the movies portray, the missions were coercive religious, forced labor camps. Through bribes, military intimidation, and the eventual onslaught of European diseases (that usually targeted children), the colonizers ensured that eventually sick and desperate indians would come to the missions for help. That’s not to say that they intentionally spread diseases, but there was a consistent, two century long pattern.

The indians that wound up there had their children taken from them, and harsh, manual labor was the rule. Beatings and filthy living conditions were common. The death rate at the missions was appalling. By 1818 the percentage of Indians who died in the missions reached 86 percent. Over 81,000 indian “converts” eventually managed to successfully flee the missions.

Soon there were indian revolts.

The San Diego Mission was burnt down in 1775 during the Kumeyaay rebellion. Mohave Indians destroyed two mission in a dramatic revolt in 1781. Military efforts to punish these indians..."

https://obrag.org/2020/07/238948/

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 09:36 PM

6. serra was canonized, despite widespread opposition and outrage. Church did not seem

too concerned about the rather inconvenient little facts.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 02:11 AM

13. I saw a wonderful ceremony/enactment

years ago on the Santa Ana Pueblo in N.M.. After some dancing, the puebloans approached the pueblo church in a body. One elder stood in front of the church door and exhorted the puebloans to come inside. They stood respectfully, listening to him for a few minutes, then as one, they turned their back on him and walked away.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 08:17 PM

2. Very sad.

So it was undergoing renovation, like Notre Dame in Paris. That's when historic structures are at their most vulnerable. But wooden structures are always vulnerable. Fortunately no one was hurt and firefighters managed to save the altar which was imported from Spain in the 18th century. Still, it's a big loss for the community.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 09:40 PM

7. Frequent fires during renovations. Wonder if insurance industry keeps statistics? /nt

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #7)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 10:15 PM

8. Probably underwritten by Lloyd's.

Its not an insurance company per se, but a collection of insurance companies, MGA's, etc. that collectively insure the risk, but should it go south, no one take a big hit to their bottom line.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 11:52 PM

9. I'm hoping that it can be quickly established that this was related to the renovation...

...because it doesn't take much imagination to see those on the right deciding it was arson by "leftists," and just another step in the slippery slope that began with tearing down Confederate monuments. Just like there were those, immediately after the Notre-Dame fire, who claimed it had to have been the work of Islamic terrorists.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 08:48 PM

3. It's sad. Those Missions are a big part of our California history.

Hope they can restore it.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 11:54 PM

10. Since the altar area survived, it should be possible...

...but don't know if they'll be able to get it done in time for the anniversary next year.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 02:39 AM

15. Yes, most of the California missions have been restored at least once, some extensively.

The same with European cathedrals. You can't tell by looking at them now but some were bombed to smithereens in WWII, including Rouen, the one Monet painted obsessively. It looks exactly like it did when he painted it, inside and out, but it has displays inside showing the stages of restoration. It was basically destroyed. All the relics, most of the art objects and much of the filigree had been removed and hidden by townspeople, which helped.

ETA: a couple of towns weren't so lucky and rebuilt their cathedrals in the International style of the day. They are hideous eyesores and I bet dollars to donuts some future generation will replace them with replicas of the originals.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 05:52 PM

23. Some people here think it's a good idea to destroy California's catholic history

Honestly wouldn't be surprised if arson was involved.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Jul 11, 2020, 09:20 PM

5. That is where my only surviving sister was married over 40 years ago.

It was a beautiful place for a wedding.

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Response to denbot (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 02:38 AM

14. My (only surviving) brother was married there ca 55 yrs ago.

Unfortunately the marriage only lasted about 10 yrs. - 2 sons.
Our family came from Ohio, and the church was a lovely setting for the wedding, as are all the remaining CA mission churches that I've seen over the years.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 02:49 AM

16. They are not so much churches as missions.

We are of Native American stock. The mission system was one of subjugation, but that is another topic altogether.

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Response to denbot (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 03:19 AM

17. The mission churches were built to be churches.

There were other elements of the mission complexes, many still standing, including refectories and farm buildings, and some church structures were used for other purposes before being restored, but they were always churches.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #17)


Response to Post removed (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 04:39 AM

19. This thread is not about Columbus

and your post has nothing to do with anything I said.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 04:51 AM

20. The SG church was part of the Mission system, that's why it is known as the San Gabriel Mission..

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Response to denbot (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 04:59 AM

21. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Good night.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #21)


Response to denbot (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 11:33 PM

24. POI. In California, the official names are Missions not churches

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #24)

Mon Jul 13, 2020, 12:32 AM

25. The official name of the church is Mission San Gabriel Arcangel Church

and it is currently closed: "Mission San Gabriel Arcángel Church welcomes you to our parish community." Mission San Gabriel includes the church, a chapel, two schools, a museum, a cemetery, and a garden:

https://parish.sangabrielmissionchurch.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=170487&type=d&pREC_ID=368512

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #24)

Mon Jul 13, 2020, 01:57 AM

27. CA missions were large complexes

that included farmlands, workshops, gardens, orchards, housing, cemeteries - as well as churches. They were intended to be self-sufficient communities, and far away from the profane influences of the presidios. Almost all of them were "secularized" (i.e, given as plums to important supporters) when Mexico declared independence in 1833, and left to deteriorate (adobe walls and rainfall do not mix well (ok, actually they do, producing a lot of mud)). What we see today are largely restorations, with greatly reduced lands. Mission Santa Barbara was one of the few that wasn't secularized: some like Mission Santa Cruz were almost completely destroyed. Fun fact: Abraham Lincoln signed the law that returned the mission lands to the Catholic Church.

I visited Mission San Miguel last year: while most of the original grave markers in its cemetery are lost (surviving records list who was buried, but not exactly where: wooden grave markers didn't survive long), it's still being used for modern burials. Most of the graves in Mission Dolores in San Francisco were destroyed after the Gold Rush when the modern city built on top of them. My favorite mission is San Antonio de Padua, literally located in the middle of nowhere on an army base.

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Response to denbot (Reply #20)

Mon Jul 13, 2020, 01:25 AM

26. Yep. Studying them is a staple of CA school system

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 12:23 AM

11. I wonder if the renovation was going to include sprinklers

This is an awful loss.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Jul 12, 2020, 01:48 AM

12. My class went there on a field trip when I was in 4th grade

that's the grade when school kids start learning about how the missions were so large a part of California’s history. It was a real eye opener, I'll never forget the mass unmarked graves the Native Americans were dumped into. Still I feel sad about the fire destroying so much of it.

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