Fire at Barcelona basilica destroys sacristy and damages crypt


Spanish police detained a man suspected of starting a fire at the Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona.

The fire destroyed the sacristy and caused major damage to the basilica’s crypt. Europa Press reported that the suspect was found hiding in the sacristy with a cigarette lighter.
The fire began on April 19 around 10:45 a.m. local time in the crypt. It spread to the sacristy, which was completely destroyed, including a number of paintings and all the liturgical vestments.

It took firefighters 45 minutes to contain the blaze.
“Seven or eight” people saw the 65-year-old man set the fire and restrained him until police arrived.

Investigators said the man denied any involvement in the incident.
The basilica re-opened later that day, but the crypt remained closed to due to smoke damage.
Around 1,700 people were evacuated from the basilica, and four basilica employees were treated for smoke inhalation.

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