(February 19, 2006) -- Following-up on the Feb. 18 midnight-hour classroom fire at Emerson Parkside Academy Charter School (Willow St./Josie Ave.), first reported the day it happened by LBReport.com, LBFD says "evidence at the fire scene indicated that foul play was involved in the cause and origin of the fire."
In a written release, LBFD adds that its Arson Unit is conducting an ongoing investigation with LBUSD security officials.
The fire did significant damage to kindergarten Room 2 (southeast corner of the school). School Director (Principal) Cindy Young told us it's the same classroom in which now-LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill once taught kindergarten.
In a written release, LBUSD said "[s]ome equipment is missing from Room 2. Equipment and building damages could reach $300,000."
LBFD Public Information Officer Battalion Chief Jeff Reeb says LB's ECOC was signalled by the schools automatic fire alarm at 12:42:35 a.m...and twenty six seconds later (12:43:01), an alarm was sent to three fire engines, one fire truck company, one paramedic rescue unit and a Battalion Chief.
Engine 18 (from Palo Verde/Wardlow) arrived first at 12:47:07 a.m...a four minute, six second response time. "They immediately implemented an interior fire attack in conjunction with the other arriving units, and achieved complete extinguishment of the fire at 1:00:00 a.m.," BC/PIO Reeb says in the release.
By midday Saturday, clean-up was underway...and LBUSD officials vowed the fire won't interfere with instruction (which will be moved to other rooms on campus). Classes will resume as scheduled on Tuesday after the George Washington holiday weekend.
"We are saddened that this fire has damaged our school, but we will not allow it to damage the education of our children," said Director (Principal) Cindy Young in a letter to parents posted on LBUSD's website. (To view the letter, click here).
Overnight Fire Damages K-Classroom At ELB's Emerson Parkside Academy Charter School; LBUSD Vows Damages Won't Affect Instruction (Moved To Other Campus Rooms) When School Resumes Tuesday