Two-alarm fire rips through Encinitas middle school

Posted at 7:04 AM, Oct 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 13:50:49-04
ENCINITAS, Calif. -- A two-alarm fire tore through the administration building at Oak Crest Middle School early Saturday morning in Encinitas. 
The blaze was reported at 3:40 a.m. at the school located at 675 Balour Dr.
Encinitas Fire Department crews arrived on scene to find a fire in the administration building, which houses the principal and counselor’s offices. Because of the size of the building, firefighters called a 2-alarm fire and dispatched backup firefighters.
"I heard a lot of fire engines," said neighbor Bryan Shafer, who resides two blocks away. "I drove over here to see what it was, and they were just pouring all kinds of water on whatever was burning up here."
Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but not before it caused significant damage to the building, according to Encinitas Fire Marshal Anita Pupping. It did not spread to any other buildings on campus, Pupping confirmed. 
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Bomb/Arson Unit was on scene investigating the cause. 
Interim San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent, Eric Dill told 10News that school would resume normally Monday and classes would not be affected. The school will find a temporary place for its office staff. 
"It's really tough," Dill said. "Oak Crest Middle School is our oldest campus."
"This isn't anything that anyone would ever want to wake up to," Dill added. "This is the first time that this has happened to anybody's memory in the school district."
According to Dill, the fire started in the counseling office and spread to the attendance area.  
"To know that one of the core buildings on the oldest facility that's been in the community since 1956 has been structurally damaged is tough to take," Dill said.
Dill doesn’t believe any important school records were destroyed. 
"Anything that was stored on a computer would be backed up on a network server. A lot of paper records were damaged, but we haven't had a chance to go in yet."
The exact circumstances of the fire and an estimate of the financial damage were not immediately confirmed, Pupping said.
10News checked with investigators on Monday and officials were still processing evidence to try to determine a cause. There is no damage estimate at this time.