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Monday, July 14, 2014 - 11:44pm
EL PASO (KDBC) — For the second time in two years, fire scarred a portion of the old St. Anne's Center, a former Episcopal mission in South El Paso that also served as a medical clinic. This, as the center was preparing for a major renovation.
Flames ripped through a two-story building located in the back of the property around 4:45 Monday afternoon. The cause remains under investigation.
"All I could see was black smoke," said 16-year-old Alba Rodriguez, who lives nearby. "That's all I could see."
Luckily for Alba and her neighbors, emergency crews made quick work of the flames, putting them out by 5:30.
Fire broke out behind the same building in January of 2013. Investigators ruled the incident to be the work of an arsonist.
Deputy Chief Chris Celaya told Local 4 the entire property was eventually turned over the City of El Paso.
"It was bought by the city a while back and most recently, another owner purchased it and was going to revitalize it," Celaya said.
That new owner, PV Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization, was planning on turning the property into a 12 unit affordable housing apartment complex.
Last February, the city council agreed to give PV Community Development a $1.3 million grant to make the renovations.