Reward Offered in Trace Elementary Arson

Friday, Sep 10, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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Reward Offered in Trace Elementary Arson

NBC Bay Area

On the morning of July 5, a five-alarm blaze destroyed a 25,000-square-foot building that housed 16 classrooms for kindergarten through second grade as well as offices and a library media center.

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The San Jose Unified School District is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the culprit  behind the Trace Elementary School arson.

On the morning of July 5, a five-alarm blaze destroyed a 25,000-square-foot building that housed 16 classrooms for kindergarten through second grade as well as offices and a library media center.

District superintendent Vincent Matthews announced the reward offer at a board of education meeting Thursday night. San Jose Firefighters Local 230 has also offered a $10,000 reward, bringing the total award to $15,000.

"The Trace fire was an incredibly destructive act that not only decimated the facility but also irreplaceable classroom materials created by timeless hours of teacher preparation," Matthews said. "We are saddened by this horrendous act but our spirits are lifted by the support from the extended community."

The blaze caused about $10 million in damage. No arrests have been made in connection with the fire.

Over the summer, 20 portable classrooms were installed at the school, with half across a courtyard from the burned site and the other half across the street.

Construction of the permanent replacement building is expected to take about 18 months to two years.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the fire department's fire cause investigative team at 408-277-4020.

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