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VIDEO: Fire at Temple Beth El; Preschool Children Evacuated

The blaze started in a storage area under the stairs.

Originally posted at 4:30 p.m. April 7, 2014. Edited to add video and new details.

A fire near a Jewish school and temple prompted an evacuation today, but no one was injured.

The blaze at Temple Beth El's school started just before 2 p.m. at 2 Liberty Ave. Aliso Viejo, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

Thirteen teachers and staffers guided about 25 preschool students, ages 3 to 6, safely out of the school, he said.

Two, however, grabbed extinguishers and attempted to put out the fire, which started in a storage area under the stairs, Concialdi said.

"There was smoke and fire below them, but the sprinkler kept the fire in check," Concialdi said. "That's why we never recommend storage underneath stairs because when people try to exit a building, fire and smoke rise and the gases can overtake them."

About 30 firefighters quickly doused the flames, Concialdi said.

Most of the school's students were on spring break this week, Concialdi said.

How the fire started was under investigation.

"It’s not suspicious," Concialdi said.

The temple suffered $100,000 in structural damage and $75,000 in damage to contents, including some mobile refrigerators. 

--City News Service

Patch Senior Local Editor Penny Arévalo contributed to this report.


Brainwashed_In_Church April 08, 2014 at 09:54 AM
How much tax did that temple (or church) pay to fund the emergency crews?
Eric Bergstrom April 08, 2014 at 10:38 AM
Geez, patch. Riveting video. We realize it was sent to you by the Orange County fire Authority, but still you don't have to post that. A Scan of empty seats and firemen doing basic cleanup...really
Amanda LaRosa April 08, 2014 at 02:58 PM
More than the cost of the seats in public schools these children don't occupy (and that their parents' taxes continue to support).

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