Fire chars rooms at school in Marysville
A three-alarm fire Tuesday night gutted a classroom at Anna McKenney Intermediate School in East Marysville, forcing the cancellation of the rest of the summer session at the school.
Carolyn Tindel, director of adult education in the Marysville Joint Unified School District and coordinator of the summer school, said students should report to the McKenney office on Huston Street today to receive credit for the full session, which would have ended Friday.
The fire destroyed teacher Tom Reynolds' classroom - Room 4 - and damaged part of the adjacent Room 5, newly renovated restrooms and an outreach consultant office, said Jami Marros, director of categorical for the district.
Marysville police Sgt. Dan Quiñonez said the fire is believed to have started in a portable restroom just outside the classroom.
"We don't know if it was set or what," Quiñonez said. "There were tons of people (watching) out here, but they only reported that the (restroom) went up first, then caught the building."
McKenney was part of a 14-site, $22 million modernization project throughout the district, most of which began this summer.
Marysville Joint Unifed School District Trustee Margaret Markle said damage would most likely be "extensive" because the new steel piping that held cables, electrical cords and other conduits running along the entire length of the building were partially destroyed.
"This is terrible, but we'll do everything possible to get school started on time (in August)," she said.
Marysville Fire Chief Joe Hernandez did not have a damage estimate.
It was the second suspicious school fire that began in a portable restroom in the district.
A blaze broke out June 29 in an electrical box at Foothill Intermediate School in Loma Rica. Damage was estimated at about $70,000.
Hernandez said the McKenney classroom was fully involved when firefighters arrived. It took them about 10 minutes to extinguish the flames.
"It was mostly confined to one room, with some damage to the adjacent classroom," he said.
Just before dusk, black smoke rose from the school.
Markle and fellow Trustees Jim Flurry and Glen Harris watched as firefighters from Marysville, Linda and Yuba City probed the ceiling to put out any smoldering areas.
"This is just a shame," Markle said. "We're trying to make the schools nicer with this modernization. School's only a month away and look at this."
Appeal-Democrat reporter Kymm Mann can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.