Spain: small fire set at Sagrada Familia basilica

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 8:51 AM
Spain: small fire set at Sagrada Familia basilica

Police in Barcelona say a suspected arsonist started a small fire inside the Sagrada Familia basilica and forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists.

The blaze Tuesday was extinguished and no one was hurt.

A Catalan regional police official says around 1,500 people were evacuated Tuesday from architect Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Spain's second-largest city.

The official said some tourists saw smoke coming from inside the sacristy and alerted authorities, and the suspected arsonist was arrested. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

She said the fire caused damage but no injuries.

The sacristy is where priests put on their robes in preparation for Mass.