Historic California mission seriously damaged by fire that broke out day after renovations finished
A fire early on Saturday morning destroyed the roof and badly damaged the interior of San Gabriel Mission, a Catholic church in California that is more than 200 years old and considered to be the “birthplace” of the Los Angeles region.
The mission was founded in 1771 by the Franciscan fathers under the leadership of the Rev. Junipero Serra, a Spanish priest who helped colonize California. Construction of the church started in 1775 and ended in 1805, said Terri Huerta, director of development and communications at the mission.