Small Fire Forces Evacuation of School

A small electrical fire in a classroom at La Canada Elementary School forced evacuation of the school Monday morning.

There were no injuries among the 600 students or staff members and the blaze was extinguished in 20 minutes, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Harry Thy.

The fire began when a neon light fixture overheated in a 12-inch space between the ceiling and roof, Thy said.

The Fire Department was called after second-grade teacher Christa Peitzman noticed smoke pouring through a light fixture. She was alone at the time, preparing for class, and the students were attending a meeting in the assembly hall.

Fire officials estimated damage at $15,000 for the structure and $5,000 for walls, carpet and contents of the classroom.

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