OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Police were investigating a fire that destroyed the cafeteria of an Oakland middle school Monday morning as arson.
The two-alarm fire at Claremont Middle School at 5750 College Ave., near the Rockridge BART Station, was reported at 1:49 a.m., fire officials said. Apparently, a passerby spotted the blaze from the freeway.
The first units on the scene came from the fire station next to the school.
A second alarm was called at about 2:20 a.m. and firefighters had extinguished the fire at about 3:10 a.m.
Fire crews contained the fire to the school cafeteria. The fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage, Battalion Chief Geoff Hunter said.
Hunter said crews found an exterior door open at the school and a broken window, which he said is unusual.
Police said this morning that an arson investigator responded to look into the possibility the fire was intentionally set. Police have no suspects so far.
Neither firefighters nor civilians were injured in the blaze.
Oakland Unified School District spokesman Tony Flint said the cafeteria will have to be completely rebuilt. “It’s not going to be usable anytime soon,” he said
It is unsure if the fire damaged the school’s electric and water systems. If the utilities are undamaged, the school will likely open normally Tuesday and provide brown bag lunches in lieu of hot lunches.
A portable unit equipped with a kitchen could be brought to the school as soon as next Monday and the school could resume serving hot lunches, Flint said.