LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A historic church went up in flames in South Los  Angeles today and two firefighters battling the blaze were temporarily trapped  in the building and had to be rescued by their colleagues, with hospitalized in  stable condition.

The fire at Crouch Memorial Church of God in Christ, completed in 1896  at 1001 E. 27th St., began in the attic about , and the flames quickly  spread through the Romanesque Revival structure.

Within a short time, the roof of the building collapsed, and  firefighters were ordered outside to battle the flames from the exterior and  keep them from spreading to other buildings.

Two firefighters temporarily trapped in the burning building were  rescued by fellow firefighters, Los Angeles fire Capt. Jamie Moore said. One of  them was taken to a hospital in stable condition with non-life-threatening  injuries, and will remain there overnight for evaluation.

The other firefighter was checked by paramedics at the scene and was  taken to a hospital for a precautionary check, but he was expected to be  released this afternoon, according to the LAFD.

Fire Chief Brian Cummings said he came to the scene when he heard part  of the roof caved in and two firefighters may have been hurt.

``I heard the partial structural collapse at the church and that we had  firefighters unaccounted for,'' Cummings said. ``That's the worst thing that  you can ever hear as a firefighter or a fire chief -- to know that some of our  own are in peril. But (despite) the unknowns that are going on there, the one  constant is that we know ... the firefighters will do what they need to do to  make sure that we can get in there to rescue those firefighters.

``... Our firefighters take that calculated risk because when there's  lives to be saved, we'll risk what needs to be done to do it, whether it's a  resident of Los Angeles or one of our own,'' the chief said.

LAFD Capt. Laurie Stolp told reporters what happened on the second floor  inside the burning church.

``This one firefighter was about 25 feet behind the other two because he  was pulling hose for them,'' Stolp said. ``And then all of a sudden they just  heard a big loud (crash) and the roof caved in, and he ended up on the first  floor just surrounded by debris.''

Firefighters gained the upper hand on the flames within about 90  minutes, and remained on scene dousing hot spots.

The church was once the center of Los Angeles' prohibition movement in  the early 1900s. It sits in the heart of a historic district that includes a  variety of homes dating back as far as 1893.

Cummings said nobody was believed to have been inside the building when  the fire broke out. The department's arson unit was called to the scene, along  with the House of Worship Task Force, which includes investigators from the FBI  and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.