Pomona church misplaced to fireplace that additionally burned toys set for giveaway

When Victory Outreach Church in Pomona went up in flames early Sunday morning, incinerating the church constructing together with greater than 500 toys set to be given away later within the day , it didn’t take lengthy for the spirit of Christmas to brush by means of the neighborhood.

The Los Angeles County Hearth Division despatched 100 firefighters to battle the blaze after which to knock down partitions, stamping out sizzling spots. However earlier than the smoke had even cleared, hearth officers hatched a plan to ship two Search and Rescue vehicles loaded with toys to the catastrophe website later within the day.

Los Angeles County fighter pump sprays water on a fire at a church.

A Los Angeles County fighter pump responded to a fireplace at Victory Outreach Church in Pomona. The church was within the means of setting as much as give meals and presents to households later within the day.


And after information of the catastrophe unfold, all morning lengthy, members of the neighborhood converged on the location with donated toys.

“We have now to assist save Christmas for this congregation,” stated L.A. County Hearth Captain Sheila Kelliher-Burkoh. “We all know the constructing isn’t the church. The church is within the hearts of those folks and we’re right here to assist.”

The blaze ignited a little bit after 2 a.m., burning so fiercely within the constructing’s attic that firefighters needed to retreat. Nobody was injured, however when the flames had been lastly out, the constructing was gone, together with 500 toys the congregation had painstakingly collected for youngsters in want. “That’s the horrible timing of this one,” Kelliher-Burkoh stated.

Officers on the L.A. County Hearth division rapidly determined they may assist. The division, together with ABC7-TV, collects toys all season for the needy, storing them in a large warehouse in Vernon earlier than distributing them. As firefighters despatched big machines by means of the smoldering website to make it protected, officers again at headquarters made plans to dispatch two vehicles’ value of toys to the church by 5 p.m.

“We’re nonetheless going to do what we meant to do,” stated Jose Montiel, a congregant who, alongside together with his spouse, Lourdes, helped set up the toy drive and signed up greater than 600 needy households.

Victory Outreach Church members Chuck Ortega and Mario Munoz gather toys in boxes.

Victory Outreach Church members Chuck Ortega, left, and Mario Munoz collect toys Sunday for a giveaway later within the afternoon. Toys that initially had been gathered for the giveaway burned in a fireplace that started round 2 a.m. Sunday, destroying the construction in-built 1981.

(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Instances)

In the meantime, all throughout Pomona and past, members of the neighborhood heard concerning the catastrophe and rushed to Victory Outreach to save lots of the vacation for the church’s kids.

Round 11 a.m., Steve Ybarra arrived on the scene of the catastrophe with a pickup truck filled with presents. Ybarra is a pastor of the close by Ample Residing Household Church. His congregation held their toy drive a day earlier, he stated, and had some leftover presents. When he heard concerning the hearth, he stated, “it broke my coronary heart.”

A couple of minutes later, one other lady from the neighborhood, Carole Glass, walked up holding a toy to contribute — a stuffed dragon. “It’s extra vital to provide to somebody who actually wants it,” she stated.

Behind them stood the ruined church. On the spot the place the door was once, one component had survived: A small Christmas tree in a golden pot that someway escaped the flames.

The remains of Victory Outreach Church after an early morning fire.

Victory Outreach Church in Pomona erupted in flames round 2 a.m. Sunday, leading to a complete lack of the construction in-built 1981.

(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Instances)

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