ESCONDIDO, Calif. - Crews responded Thursday night to a fire burned a church in Escondido.
The fire at the Calvary Assembly Church on 950 E. Ohio Ave. was reported at about 7 p.m., according to Escondido police.
Minutes later, officers arrived at the scene to find the church engulfed. Fire crews arrived a short time later to fight the blaze.
The firefighting effort caused major traffic hazards on surrounding roads. Grand Avenue and Valley Parkway were shut down due to the fire, police said.
10News learned San Diego Gas & Electric crews had to shut off power to some neighboring homes.
Police said the building was considered a total loss and was the only structure that burned in this fire.
Wesley Valencia was near the church when the fire started.
“They were doing a good job, and then all of a sudden, once they started putting a bunch of water on it, it just kind of blew up on them,” Valencia said. “This whole place was nothing but smoke.”
No injuries were immediately reported, and the cause is still under investigation. Linda Garcia told 10News that her daughter, who is married to the assistant pastor, told police she saw a teen near the church acting suspiciously prior to the fire before taking off on a skateboard.
Investigators have not confirmed if the fire is related to a small brush fire that broke out Thursday night at Kit Carson Park, about 2 miles away in Escondido. Two teens were arrested in that fire.