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Fire hits old school house
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A pre-dawn arson fire destroyed much of the interior of a small red building at 216 West North Street Wednesday morning causing $3,500 damage to the structure and $500 to the contents. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Manteca firefighters found evidence of accelerant pours in a small building in the 200 block of West North Street following a 3:30 a.m. blaze that destroyed much of the interior of the building that once served as a Seventh Day Adventist church school in the 1940s.

Homeless men had been chased out of the building on numerous occasions by police in recent months.  Loss to the structure was estimated at $35,000 with $500 in damage to the contents.

The first fire engine crew to arrive on the scene reported seeing heavy smoke coming from the structure reporting that the building had been vacant at the time of the fire.

The fire was reportedly brought under control in about 15 minutes and another 15 minutes was required to completely extinguish the blaze.  The pour patterns were visible on the floor in the storage room, Battalion Chief Bob Davis reported.  

Fire crews remained on the scene for some two hours for salvage, overhaul and investigation operations.