Fire-Ravaged SJ School Looks to Start on Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area
    The blaze at Trace Elementary School reached five alarms -- fire investigators are calling it "suspicious" but they have not release any details on why they believe that.

    Arson investigators are sifting through what remains of the main building of Trace Elementary School in San Jose.

    The building was gutted in an early-morning fire Monday. The blaze reached five alarms -- fire investigators are calling it "suspicious" but they have not release any details on why they believe that.

    The fire caused an estimated $8 million in damage and destroyed 16 classrooms. School officials say it will take at least two years to rebuild the school.

    In an emergency meeting called Monday afternoon, school officials assured parents of students enrolled at Trace will open as scheduled on August 16, a spokeswoman for the San Jose Unified School District said.

    About 400 people showed up for the emergency meeting, where it was decided that the school's 1,000 students will be able to start as scheduled in August but they will be in portable classrooms, the district said.

    Trace Elementary is a bilingual performing arts school, where students take classes in drama, art and music.

    The fire was contained at about 7:05 a.m., and controlled just after 2:40 p.m., Rangel said. A shelter-in-place warning that was issued in the area was lifted at about 3 p.m., he said.

    At the fire's peak, about 100 people were helping fight the blaze,  Rangel said. One firefighter was taken to a hospital after straining a  muscle, but no other injuries were reported.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.