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    See Video Of Knockdown + Add'l Pix Of Aftermath Of Fire @ Calvary Chapel of NLB; LBFD Lists Blaze As "Suspicious In Nature" Because...

    Church fire Feb. 20/09

    (Feb. 21, 2009) -- provides below video of the knockdown, and photos of the aftermath, of a predawn fire Friday Feb. 20 at Calvary Chapel of North Long Beach (South St. @ Lime Ave.)...that LBFD now lists as "suspicious in nature."

    The blaze broke out within six months of a fire at another one of the church's buildings about a block away that an investigation listed as of "undetermined cause"...and because it involves a house of worship, a joint investigation is now ongoing by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), LBFD's Arson division and LBPD. now adds video (shot by us on-scene at abot 5:30 a.m.) as firefighters knocked down smoke from the roof area of a church building just east of the main sanctuary.

    [If you have difficulty seeing the embedded image, click here to launch video.]

    We also provide photos of the fire's aftermath and a description of what occurred by LBFD Battalion Chief Frank Hayes:

    Church fire Feb. 20/09
    Photo credit: LBFD BC Frank Hayes

    Church fire Feb. 20/09
    Photo credit: LBFD BC Frank Hayes

    Church fire Feb. 20/09
    Photo credit: LBFD BC Frank Hayes

    Engine Company Eleven (11) first on scene arrived in approximately 3 minutes and gave the initial report of a two story church fully involved (with fire), pulling a hose line, and requested assistance from incoming units with a water supply and fire fighting operations.

    Truck Companies conducted ventilation operations to check for extension of the fire and to clear the interior of smoke for firefighting crews to conduct Search and Rescue operations. Based on the size of the building and the amount of fire showing a "second alarm" (request for additional resources) was called for by the district Battalion Chief, who assumed Incident Commander (IC) duties.

    The fire was contained to the entry area off of South Street and to a large meeting/activity room behind this location. The facility was clear of occupants at the time of the fire, and there were no reports of injuries to civilians or Firefighters.

    LBFD crews overhauled the structure looking for any "hot spots" to ensure that the fire was extinguished, and conducted salvage operations. Clear plastic sheeting was placed over the ventilation hole on the roof to prevent environmental exposure, the entry on South Street was cleaned up and made free of any dangers to the public, and "board up" was offered to secure the church (the Pastor chose to assume this responsibility).

    The extent of the damage to the structure and its contents is estimated at approximately $75,000-$100,000 dollars.

    In addition to this current fire the church suffered from another fire at one of their other facilities approximately one block away within the last six (6) month period, which after investigation was listed as an "undetermined cause."

    The cause of this current fire has been preliminary listed as "suspicious in nature."

    Due to it being a church (house of worship) a joint investigation is on going, conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), LBFD Arson division and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).

    Anyone with information on this fire is requested to call the Arson Tip Line at: (562) 570-2582 they may remain anonymous if desired.

    A total of 27 apparatus and 58 personnel responded to this incident that occurred in council districts 8 on the border of council district 9 on South Street. was the first LB media outlet on scene and had the first media report of the fire on our front page shortly after dawn.

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