QUITO – A fire broke out on Christmas Day in the Tumbaco parish church, part of the Ecuadorian capital’s cultural heritage, and damaged some of its religious art, though no victims have been reported yet.
The blaze specifically hit the Chapel of the Third Order of St. Francis in the historic Church of Tumbaco, the online edition of the daily El Telegrafo said, citing information from the Metropolitan COE emergency management service.
The fire was extinguished by firefighters in a joint operation with police and municipal security headquarters in Tumbaco, a rural parish in the Quito Metropolitan District.
Though the causes of the blaze have not been specified, an electrical short-circuit is thought to have started the fire that devastated the chapel “catalogued in the city’s cultural heritage inventory,” the Metropolitan COE said.
Paintings, religious statues and the dome of the church were destroyed by the flames, Christian Rivera of the Metropolitan COE said in a statement to the daily El Comercio.
The Municipal Heritage Institute is expected to evaluate the amount of damage done by the fire, Rivera said.