Arson fire shuts down University Heights elementary school - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Arson fire shuts down University Heights elementary school

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A University Heights primary school was closed Tuesday due to an overnight arson fire that caused an estimated $600,000 worth of property damage.

The non-injury blaze at Alice Birney Elementary in the 4300 block of Campus Avenue broke out about 11:45 p.m. Monday, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

It took a contingent of 50 firefighters roughly 20 minutes to get the flames under control, Battalion Chief John Fischer said.

Investigators determined that someone had intentionally sparked the blaze by spreading around some type of flammable liquid and igniting it, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque told reporters. But there were no immediate indications that the crime was related to several other arson fires that damaged a church about a half-mile from the school in December, according to Luque.

Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever set Monday night's fire.

The federal agency had previously posted a bounty of the same amount for the person or persons responsible for the recent arson crimes at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in the 2000 block of Adams Avenue.

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