Fire Destroys Old Schoolhouse in Store

From Times Staff Reports

A fire sparked by lightning that destroyed a furniture store Thursday also consumed a nearly century-old schoolhouse that was tucked inside it, a local historian said.

The damage to Encore Furniture is estimated at about $800,000. But inside the block walls of the business was a two-room schoolhouse that stood alone, entirely surrounded by the furniture store.

Bill Storkson, who with his family ran a mattress business out of the schoolhouse for almost 40 years, said the structure was built of redwood in 1904 and was considered nearly indestructible until Thursday.

The school was known as Monte Vista School No. 1 and was the oldest original schoolhouse from the original Chaffey land that is now Ontario and Montclair, according to Jerry DuBois, a local historian.

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