Local News in Brief : N. Hollywood Fire Strikes Preschool

Arson is suspected in a fire that struck a Head Start preschool in North Hollywood before dawn Tuesday, fire officials said.

The fire gutted one classroom and slightly damaged two other rooms, causing an estimated $20,000 in damage to Valley Plaza Head Start, 12331 Vanowen St., run by the Latin American Civic Assn., officials said.

Arson investigators said they are still looking for the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported.

Several preschoolers burst into tears Tuesday morning when unsuspecting parents dropped their children off for school at 8 a.m., said Elaine King, child development supervisor at the preschool.


“I told the kids, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to get our school back together,’ ” Kingsaid said.

The school will reopen today. Classes will be held in an undamaged classroom and a converted faculty and staff lounge through June 14, when school ends for the summer, said Ralph Arriola, executive director of the preschool.