Transient Causes Blaze at Vacant Private School in Van Nuys

Firefighters are dispatched at 11:12 a.m. Saturday to to 14111 Sherman Way.

By City News Service

A transient's fire in the fireplace caused the greater- alarm blaze in the attic of a vacant, two-story private school in Van Nuys, a fire official said Sunday.

Firefighters were dispatched at 11:12 a.m. Saturday to 14111 Sherman Way, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

The fire was put out at 11:55 a.m., Humphrey said. Ninety-six firefighters were assigned to the fire.

The structure was once the location of Pinecrest School. The fire was in the upper portion of a 2,500-square-foot home with a tall attic that had been converted decades ago into the private school. Several structures at the site were about to be demolished.

"The cause of the blaze was described as accidental, and attributed to a transient's warming fire in house's vestigial fireplace, that quickly engulfed the large attic," Humphrey said. No injuries were reported.

The fire loss was not estimable due to the upcoming demolition, he said.  The fire was near Sherman Way at Hazeltine Avenue, about four miles east of the San Diego (405) Freeway.


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