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San Gabriel mission church fire began in choir loft, official says

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Investigators have not yet determined what started the fire.
A weekend fire that gutted the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel church started in the choir loft on the second floor, then spread to the ceiling and the wooden roof, authorities said Monday.
But investigators have not yet determined what started the blaze, which broke out early Saturday morning at the 215-year-old church on West Mission Drive.
Investigators took collected materials over to a lab, San Gabriel Fire Capt. Antonio Negrete said.
The fire began at the choir loft, which is about 250 square feet, he said, adding that there was substantial burning in one area. It spread to the ceiling. Once the fire reached the attic space it spread to the roof, he added.
Authorities deemed the building unsafe and red-tagged it.

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