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Fire destroys Good Shepherd Church

WHITTIER – A two-alarm fire broke out early Thursday morning at Good Shepherd Family Bible Church in Uptown Whittier.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire started but the church was deemed a total loss.

L.A. County firefighters, including the department’s hazardous materials squad, responded to the church before dawn and found the structure engulfed in flames. One wall collapsed in the fire.

Crews were still battling the flames at 7:30 a.m.

Good Shepherd Church is located at 6712 Washington Ave. The congregation had been at the location for 20 years.

The church is planning a prayer and worship service at 7 p.m. Thursday at House of Grace, 12222 Philadelphia Ave.

“While our building is no more, we are filled with hope and faith, and press on to continue our mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the church said in a statement. “Thank you to the City of Whittier and our surrounding church community for the gracious support and prayers.”

Mayor Joe Vinatieri called the church’s destruction “a tragic loss for Whittier.”

“I had a chance to speak and pray with Good Shepher Pastor Sam Gamboa and church members,” Vinatieri said. “Let’s surround our church family with love and prayer today. Thank you to L.A. County Fire for being on scene so quickly.”

The church is active and had just hosted its fall harvest festival Sunday and was preparing rehearsals for its Christmas production.

Video by Eric Pierce
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