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Local News

Student Reportedly Starts Small Vegetation Fire at Cleveland Elementary Campus in Santa Barbara

Small blaze burns hillside on western side of campus; responding fire crews spot a tree fall nearby that brings down power lines on the Eastside

Santa Barbara firefighters extinguish a small brush fire on the Cleveland Elementary School campus Monday afternoon. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara firefighters extinguish a small brush fire on the Cleveland Elementary School campus Monday afternoon.  (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara firefighters made quick work of a small vegetation fire at the Cleveland Elementary School campus Monday afternoon that was reportedly started by a student.  

Crews responded around 3:20 p.m. to the campus at 123 Alameda Padre Serra and found a 50-by-100-foot spot fire at the west side of the campus. 

Firefighters soon reported the fire was under control and requested an arson investigator to respond to the scene.

"It looks like a student started the fire," Battalion Chief Jim McCoy said, adding that the student was taken to the principal's office. 

Fire investigators, police and school staff were involved in the investigation at that point, he said. 

There were students on campus for the After School Education and Safety Program at the time of the fire, and they were moved from various classrooms to the cafeteria, a more central location, said Lauren Bianchi Klemann, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Unified School District. 

"It went close I think to some of our portables, but it got put under control pretty quickly," she said. 

The fire burned on the lower hillside of the campus, near a new walkway to school that debuted at the beginning of this school year, she added.  

Santa Barbara police officers also responded to the scene. 

From the hillside, responding firefighters spotted a eucalyptus tree fall on East Mason street. 

As of 4:55 p.m., the tree, or a very large branch, was blocking East Mason Street between Soledad and Salinas streets, said City Fire Battalion Chief Jim McCoy. 

The tree took down a lot of power lines in the area and Southern California Edison crews responded to the scene to de-energize those lines, McCoy said. 

Edison reported an outage to 113 customers as of 4:50 p.m., with an estimated restoration time of 8 p.m. 

Santa Barbara City Public Works crews and an arborist were en route to the scene, according to McCoy. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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