LOS ANGELES — The raging wildfire that destroyed more than 100 plush homes in the hills above Santa Barbara, Calif., also claimed a hilltop oasis for thousands over the years, an Episcopalian monastery.
About 25 guests and the seven monks who lived and worked at the Mount Calvary Monastery and Retreat House fled Thursday night with the approach of the fast-moving blaze, said Brother Robert Sevensky, superior of the Order of the Holy Cross in West Park, N.Y.
Today, a few of the monks are expected to return to pick through the rubble of the sprawling Spanish-style complex that had been filled with quiet reading rooms, endless shelves of books on myriad topics and commanding views of the city and ocean 1,250 feet below.
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