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By Alistair Thompson                
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Posted on Friday, August 12, 2011  
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A fire broke out Tuesday morning in two portable classrooms at the Belle Haven Elementary School in Menlo Park. The fire destroyed two classrooms that were located in a portable trailer on the school grounds. The school is located at 415 Ivy Drive.

The main school building was not damaged. Since the school was closed because of the summer recess, there were no students or faculty present and no injuries were reported.

A resident living near the school reported the fire to the Menlo Park Fire Department and firefighters got the fire under control shortly after they arrived on the scene.  But the damage to the classrooms in the portable trailer was significant. Ravenswood City School District officials said that the portable might not be replaceable.

The classrooms housed a Boys and Girls Club program and a preschool. Office equipment and computers were among the items destroyed in the fire.

Ravenswood City School District’s Chief Business Officer Megan Curtis said that the cost of the damage is unknown at this time and that they are waiting on an insurance evaluation. The evaluation will determine whether or not the classrooms can continue to be used by the Boys and Girls Club and the preschool.

Curtis also stated that while the cause of the fire is still under investigation, the general belief is that it started in an air conditioner.

In terms of fire safety, Curtis said that this type of fire was rare and that the district does not need to re-evaluate its fire safety standards. The Menlo Park Fire Department does routine checks on the Ravenswood City School District’s schools and there have been no previous problems.

To contact the author of this article, Alistair Thompson, send an email to epatoday@epatoday.org.




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