Fire badly damaged an animal diagnostic center building under construction at the University of California here early today, and officials were investigating a possible connection with vandalism elsewhere on campus. An animal rights group claimed responsibility for the vandalism.
The fire damage was estimated at the scene at "$1 million-plus" by Assistant Fire Chief Bill Greene. But Larry Navarette, arson and bomb investigator for the state fire marshal, said the damage was probably $2.5 million. He said about $5 million had been spent on the building which was budgeted at $8 million, and about half of the construction was destroyed.