Fire damages Buddhist temple in Australian city of Melbourne

Diego Fedele/AAP Image via AP
The damaged structure is seen at the scene of a fire at the Bright Moon Buddhist Temple in Springvale South, Melbourne Monday, Feb. 6, 2023

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A Buddhist temple has been extensively damaged by fire in the Australian city of Melbourne.

About 80 firefighters fought the blaze at the Bright Moon Buddhist Temple for more than two hours before it was brought under control late Sunday.

There were no injuries in the fire visible for several kilometers (miles). The cause of the fire was not yet known, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Foster said.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the effort to fight the fire was done with cultural sensitivity.

“Not only is it a place of worship, it’s a place of gathering for the local Buddhist community, and at all times, we were engaging with members from that community to inform them what we were doing and taking into account their concerns,” Foster said.

About 30 residents were evacuated from the area.