Suspicious Fire Guts SJ Drama School

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Investigators in San Jose are trying to figure out how a fire started at the city’s largest elementary school and administrators are looking ahead to next month and wondering how to get the school ready for students to return.

    The fire was reported at about 4:15 a.m. Monday at Trace Elementary School on Dana Avenue. It reached five alarms and by the time crews controlled it at about 7 a.m., the flames had destroyed about 80 percent of the school’s main building.

    At the fire's peak, about 100 people were at the school helping battle it, Fire Capt. Chuck Rangel said. One firefighter had to be taken to a hospital because of a strained muscle.
    Crews doused the fire with 7,000 gallons of water per minute.

    "It is sad to see what is in front of me right now," San Jose Unified School District spokeswoman Karen Fuqua said.

    Trace Elementary School is a bilingual visual and performing arts campus for San Jose Unified School District K-5 students, where about 1,000 students attend classes in drama, art and music.

    Since the school doesn't have summer classes and school starts again Aug. 16, district officials have time to plan what to do, Fuqua said

    A community meeting is planned for this Monday afternoon with firefighter. Another meeting will address putting a plan together for the school to reopen in August.