Two Firefighters Rescued After Roof Collapse at Historic Los Angeles Church

Firefighters rescued two colleagues trapped under burning rubble Tuesday morning after the roof of an historic South Los Angeles church collapsed during a fire, reports NBC Los Angeles.

Crews responded to Crouch Memorial Pentecostal Church of God In Christ at 27th and Paloma streets at about 9:30 a.m. It took more than 150 firefighters nearly four hours to extinguish the fire at the location, formerly known as Beth Eden Baptist Temple and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Firefighters were on the second floor of the building when part of the roof collapsed, said Capt. Jaime Moore, spokesman for Los Angeles Fire Department.

Two firefighters were trapped under burning debris and a trained rapid intervention team — equipped with power tools and other equipment used in entrapment situations — entered the burning building.

“The fire was running the attic,” Moore said. “The team went in and pulled them out of the rubble. They look like they’re in stable condition from the initial assessment.”

One firefighter was hospitalized and a second firefighter was treated at the scene, Moore said. Aerial video showed a firefighter transported from the structure on a gurney and placed in an ambulance.

The firefighters were talking when they were removed from the building, LAFD Chief Brian Cummings said. The hospitalized firefighter did not suffer burns or smoke inhalation, according to the LAFD.

An ambulance unit was called back to the site early Tuesday afternoon following a report of a third injured firefighter. Moore said he might have suffered electrical shock as he worked with a ladder pipe — a nozzle attached to an aerial ladder and used to direct heavy streams of water from above the fire.

The injury is considered non-life threatening.

The initial investigation indicated the building was not occupied.

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