The historic chapel next to the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in the Catalina Foothills was heavily damaged by fire Monday evening, said Battalion Chief Lee Mayes of the Rural/Metro Fire Department.
Rural/Metro firefighters were called to the area of gallery, 6300 N. Swan Road, shortly after 6 p.m. on reports of smoke and spotted the fire, which firefighters doused in two or three minutes after the first engine arrived, Mayes said.
No hanging pictures by renowned artist Ted DeGrazia were in the chapel, called the Mission in Sun, but murals were damaged and the roof was gone, Mayes said.
DeGrazia built the mission in 1952 in the memory of Padre Eusebio Kino and dedicated it to Our Lady of Guadalupe, according to the gallery’s website, which added that the mission was registered as a National Historic landmark in 2006.
The website said the ceiling of mission opened to the sky and the walls showcased DeGrazia’s hand-painted frescoes.
Officials were investigating the cause of the fire. No damage estimates were available.