Notre Dame Fire Brings Memories of 1970 Valley Church Fire

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SAN JUAN – The fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is out but the damage remains, with only some of the relics, such as the altar and the cross, still standing.

This incident is bringing back memories for those who attended St John’s Church, now known as the Basilica of San Juan, when a fire broke out 48 years ago.

The Church of the Shrine of the Virgin of San Juan was home to the Lady of San Juan Del Valle when a plane crashed, destroying the church.

"You could hear the plane taking a nose dive and just the boom, the bang and I remember that we kind of like scrunched down and the nuns that were leading us turned around and just said, ‘Don't turn back just keep walking keep walking,’" says survivor Kelly Gutierrez.

The statue of our Lady of San Juan Del Valle was saved from the flames; six years after this, the Basilica was built.  

KRGV’s Cecilia Gutierrez explains more than 3,000 people will be present at the Basilica in order to celebrate the Chrism Mass, which traditionally takes place as part of Holy Week.  

Watch the video above for the full story.  


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