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Suspected arson fire badly damages Sunshine Hills Elementary

Fire damage at Sunshine Hills Elementary in North Delta - EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER
Fire damage at Sunshine Hills Elementary in North Delta
— image credit: EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

A two-alarm fire kept about 30 firefighters busy early Wednesday morning at North Delta's Sunshine Hills Elementary.

Crews were called to investigate burning debris at the back of the school about 2 a.m. and found a fire spreading through the wall into the second floor, said Delta Fire Rescue Services' Deputy Chief Ken Sim.

It took the crews – including four pumpers and three ladder trucks – about three hours to knock down the fire in an "offensive attack," said Sim.

Although the fire was contained to the area of the fire's origin, several classrooms were damaged by smoke and water, and the roof was damaged as crews cut their way in to fight the fire.

The damage estimate has been put at $100,000, and the fire is considered suspicious.

"It definitely had some logs or something put up against the building," Battalion Chief Mike Richardson told CTV News. "I would suspect arson in this case."

Delta School District Manager of Communications Deneka Michaud said that although several classroom were damaged, staff on site have begun repairs, and the school will be ready for students in September.

"(Repairs) won't take long," she said.

In the meantime, Delta police are investigating the incident.

No one is reported to have been injured in the fire.

"The crews are all safe, but tired. It was a tough fire to put out," Richardson said.

– with files from CBC

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