Father Bryan Owen wears the petit point stole his mother handmade for him as a gift for his ordination into preisthood 20 years ago.
St. Luke's Episcopal plans to rebuild the church located on Goodwood Boulevard in Baton Rouge.

Foul play not a factor in fire at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, exact cause still unknown

BATON ROUGE – A massive fire that left St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in ruins was not intentionally set, fire investigators announced Tuesday.

“While the exact cause of the fire has not been definitively established, there is no evidence to suggest that the incident was intentionally set,” the Baton Rouge Fire Department said in a release. “Our investigation, although ongoing, has not yielded any indicators pointing towards arson or deliberate ignition.”

The fire broke out just past 1 a.m. on Feb. 17, prompting a response from Baton Rouge firefighters to the fully-engulfed church on Goodwood Blvd.

Upon arrival, multiple crews engaged in battling the blaze which had consumed the attic and a middle room, with heavy fire emerging through the roof near the church’s center.

As firefighters were working inside, a section of the structure collapsed behind them, temporarily trapping them inside. Fortunately, they managed to locate another exit and evacuate the building unharmed.

While crews successfully prevented the fire from spreading to the school portion of the building, the church section suffered irreparable damage and is considered a total loss.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the incident.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the agencies involved in the investigation, including the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, ATF, and St. Tammany Fire Department, for their unwavering support, expertise, and collaboration throughout this process,” BRFD said. “Their dedication significantly contributed to the thoroughness and integrity of our findings.”

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