Santa Ana : Suspicious Fire Burns Day-Care Center Rooms

A fire of suspicious origin gutted a classroom, an office and part of a playroom at a Christian day-care center, fire officials said Wednesday.

The blaze at the Pueblo de Ninos preschool in the 800 block of East Bishop Street was reported at 10:56 p.m. Tuesday. Fire Department Battalion Chief Wayne Bowman said 16 firefighters put out the fire in 20 minutes.

Bowman said damage to the three structures and their contents was estimated at $100,000. A spokeswoman for the school said most of the day-care center supplies and equipment were lost in the fire.

Liz Perrin, secretary for the Camile Christian Church, which sponsors the nonprofit preschool for about 45 youngsters, said day care was not interrupted by the fire because children were moved into other classrooms at the center. But Perrin said the school was without telephone service until late Wednesday afternoon.

Cause of the late-night blaze was under investigation as a possible case of arson, fire officials said.

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