The staff were safely evacuated. No students were on campus at the time of the fire.
A fire broke out at the San Juan de San Juan Bautista primary school. The fire was reported at 3:17 p.m. on October 10 and occurred in the maintenance area directly behind the school.
Witnesses on the spot said the fire was preceded by a popping sound that they assumed was a transformer short circuit.
The Sheriff’s Department and the Hollister Fire Department could not confirm the cause of the blaze.
Students were not on campus at the time of the fire, Aromas-San Juan Unified School District superintendent Michele Huntoon told BenitoLink. Only teachers and staff were still present. She added that the school was evacuated without incident and that a check of the premises had been carried out to make sure everyone had left.
“We have to thank the staff, sheriffs and firefighters for their quick responses,” Huntoon said. “It’s never something we want to manage, but it could have been a lot worse. When something like this happens and it goes as well as before, I have to think that we are blessed. “
Fire trucks took an access road to reach the back of the school, where the fire had spread down a dry creek bed and through trees. Black smoke appeared to escape from what has been identified as a maintenance area, as can be seen in video taken at the scene.
Highway 156 was closed to the Alameda as traffic was diverted around the Mission Farm RV park due to smoke and downed power lines, according to Caltrans.
There was no immediate sign of damage to school buildings. Huntoon said an assessment of conditions would be done by morning to determine if the students could return without delay.
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