Cafeteria Fire Raises Arson Investigation


SAN FRANCISCO—Law enforcement officials have begun preliminary investigations concerning a suspicious fire that destroyed the cafeteria of an Oakland middle school on Monday, February 16.

The fire, setting off two alarms at Claremont Middle School, was first called-in by a passerby who spotted the blaze at 1:49 a.m. The first wave of firefighters came from nearby Rockridge BART Station, who battled the fire until a second alarm was called at approximately 2:20 a.m.

The blaze was eventually put out at 3:10 a.m.

The fire extinguished at around 3:10 a.m. Though the blaze was limited to the school’s cafeteria, it is believed to have caused over $1 million worth of damage.

An early investigation revealed an open exterior door and a broken window. At the moment, no suspects have been identified in the case.

The school’s cafeteria will have to be completely rebuilt. It has yet to be determined if the building’s utilities are damaged, which can affect the duration of the rebuilding process.

In the interim, students are expected to bring their lunches to school. The possibility of a portable kitchen unit capable of providing hot lunches is being considered.