Landmark Southern California Mission Damaged In Early Morning Fire

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>Landmark Southern California Mission Damaged In Early Morning Fire

By Bruce Haring

Bruce Haring

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July 11, 2020 2:55pm

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The interior of the San Gabriel Mission is damaged following a morning fire, Saturday, July 11, 2020, in San Gabriel, Calif. The fire destroyed the rooftop and most of the interior of the nearly 250-year-old California church that was undergoing renovation. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

A nearly 250-year-old mission that has was the inspiration for some early movie projects has been extensively damaged in an early morning fire on Saturday.

The Mission San Gabriel, which was founded in 1771 and contained artifacts dating to that era, caught fire for unknown reasons. Its roof was demolished and interior damage was seen in photos No injuries were reported.

Built with stone, brick and mortar, it’s considered one of the best preserved Missions in California. However, its founder, Franciscan priest Junipero Serra, has come under criticism for his mistreatment of Native Americans. Statues of him were among those toppled during recent protests for social justice.

The mission was the scene of many documentary films over the years and appeared in several early silent films.

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