For the second time this year, Konko Church of Los Angeles, located on First Street in Boyle Heights, has been damaged by an arson fire.
Alyne Tsuyuki, daughter of head minister Rev. Alfred Tsuyuki, said the incident occurred on the afternoon of Nov. 11. A neighbor called a family member, who alerted her. When she arrived, the fire department was already on the scene and the fire had been extinguished.
The perpetrator or perpetrators broke in through the front door, started a fire, then started another fire close to the back door, she said. Part of the wall and ceiling were badly burned, along with some furniture.
Students of the Shorinji Kempo class held at the church came that evening to help clean up.
Tsuyuki said that she does not yet have an estimate on the damage and that repairs will “probably take a while.” If anyone is willing to donate funds, she added, that would be appreciated.
She is trying to determine whether anything was caught on surveillance video and will follow up with fire investigators.
The motive remains unknown, Tsuyuki said, but “I’ve heard there’s a lot of Asian hate still around” so she can’t help but wonder.
In February, a fire apparently originated in a publicly accessible men’s restroom, destroyed the free-standing structure, and charred the outer wall of one of the church buildings. Mochitsuki equipment was also destroyed.
That case has yet to be solved. A Go Fund Me campaign was held to cover the cost of repairs.
— J.K. YAMAMOTO