The temple of St. Sebastian, in the district of the same name, burned today, beginning around 1 am. Many of its religious paintings and relics are reported completely lost due to the intense flames.
The great majority of the burned paintings were irreplaceable works by Diego Quispe Tito from the Cusco school of colonial art. On hearing the alarm, the people of San Sebastian ran to their church, as did the firemen, to try to control the fire. With buckets and other impliments they tried to assist. In single file, with no distinction among persons, they passed buckets and art. In this way they managed to save many of the goods that were inside the church.
Nevertheless, they affirm tht 80% of the colonial temple was consumed in the flames and 90% of its roof is a complete loss. They say they could not control the blaze due to a lack of water in the district.
The parish priest explained the parish does not allow burning candles. It appears the fire was due to a short circuit. Even now, hours later and at a great distance, you can smell the burn. You can also see part of the dome of the burned church which is now mostly in ruins and still smoking.
The elderly women of the district are in tears because of the loss of their much loved temple where they go every Sunday to hear mass and to begin their weekends. The church is at the center of life in San Sebastian. All the population of Cusco, nevertheless, is in mourning for the great loss the entire region suffered today.