Fire at Oak Crest Middle School in Encinitas disrupts administration, but classes continue as usual

Fire broke out early Saturday morning
Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 21:51:23-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. - Repairs were underway Monday following a two-alarm fire that destroyed an administration building at an Encinitas school.

Just before 4 a.m. Saturday, a fire was reported at Oak Crest Middle School (675 Balour Dr.). When firefighters arrived at the scene, the blaze had badly damaged the building, which gutted the counselor's office and several other offices, including that of the principal.

No injuries were reported, but the building suffered heavy smoke and water damage.

Oak Crest Middle School Principal Ben Taylor told 10News he was shocked Saturday morning to learn about the fire.

"Pretty crazy to wake up at 5 in the morning and get a phone call saying, 'Your building is on fire,'" said Taylor.

Fire crews were able to save most of the administration building but damage is extensive.

"The roof caved in, so what they're doing today is shore up the walls and shore up the roof, make the building protected and then renovation begins," Taylor said.

Exactly how that will go is yet to be decided.

"The entire administration building will have to be gutted. Eight people moved into two small rooms so it's going to be a tight little party for the short term," Taylor told 10News.

Most files that were damaged were backed up and are being salvaged, but there's a sense of loss.

"It just feels bizarre to be in a different office; feels like part of your home is gone," said Taylor.

Interim San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Eric Dill told 10News, "It's really tough. Oak Crest Middle School is our oldest campus … This isn't anything that anyone would ever want to wake up to. This is the first time that this has happened to anybody's memory in the school district."

Classes at the school went on as scheduled Monday.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department Bomb/Arson Unit are continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze.