Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Update: Gas Cans Found at Site of Peralta Blaze

By Michael Mechanic
Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Last night's fire at Oakland’s Peralta Elementary was clearly a case of arson. According to observers at the scene, fire officials found gas cans, as well as a broken window to the school's office from its inner hallway, a possible sign the perpetrators may have gained entry to that space, or attempted to. Peralta this afternoon was a sad but determined scene, with workmen cleaning up the charred mess around the school’s now-cleared courtyard garden, and installing a temporary front door out of plywood. Missing walls revealed charred wooden studs, and portions of the already-crowded school’s kindergarten area were out of commission. TV news crews pulled aside and interviewed concerned parents and others who came by to survey the damage. Today, ironically, was to be the debut of a weekly after-school produce stand, where kids and parents will sell local farm produce to benefit the Peralta Parent Teacher Group. That money will certainly come in handy now.

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