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Bell : Arson Believed Cause of Blaze at Corona School

May 11, 1989

Fire officials confirmed Wednesday that an early-morning fire that destroyed a kindergarten classroom at Corona Elementary School in Bell was deliberately set.

The blaze, which was reported at 1:29 a.m. Tuesday, caused about $250,000 in damage, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Bill Franklin said.

"It's of an incendiary origin," Franklin said, when asked if arson was considered the cause of the fire. "It's definitely that."

Investigators have not identified any suspects in the fire, Franklin said.

The fire appeared to have started on a bookshelf a few feet from a doorway, and destroyed virtually all of the classroom, which was separated from the rest of the elementary school by a breezeway. There was no other damage to the school at 3825 Bell Ave., Franklin said.

Franklin said investigators are not sure how the fire was started. "There is no evidence of a booster," such as gasoline, to ignite the blaze, he said.

The 27 kindergarten students displaced by the fire are attending class in the school's main building.

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