Crews battle early-morning preschool fire in Hillcrest

Fire at First Unitarian Universalist Church


Authorities said a fire destroyed part of a religious preschool in Hillcrest early Sunday morning.

The San Diego County Fire Department said the fire broke out at around 3 a.m. at the rear of the First Unitarian Universalist Church preschool on Arbor Drive. Crews said they believe the blaze began in a maintenance area attached to the back of a row of classrooms.  

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they said they found flames pouring from the back of the classrooms and went to work battling the inferno.  

Flames shot 20 feet into the air as crews battled to save the classrooms. They had the bulk of the fire knocked down in about 15 minutes.  

Fire investigators said they believe someone started this blaze, but they can't say for sure who did it and why. Damage is estimated at about $100,000.

According to the preschool's website, the school is scheduled to reopen Monday after winter break. However, it's unclear what this fire will do to those plans.

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