Unified Fire said the fire broke out at about 10:30 last night. Firefighters immediately responded and were able to rapidly control the flames.
“Upon arrival crews were able to confine the fire to the attic area,” said David Ulibarri with Unified Fire Authority.
Officials say the fire started after a faulty thermostat melted and caught on fire and they suspect no foul play as the cause for the blaze.
Once inside firefighters found several cages with animals inside ranging from rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, birds, and fish tanks with several species of fish. Officials say it would have been a devastating loss to the students at the school as these animals are used to teach students about science.
“They’re used for several different science investigations for the kids and they learn about genetics, they learn about hair follicles, and ecological environments,” said Ulibarri.
‘The Living Classroom,’ as it is called, is 9-year-old Alex Perez’s favorite place to be.
“My favorite part is the whole learning about animals because I like learning about animals,” said Alex.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending as firefighters were able to rescue all the animals and relocate them to another classroom at the school. Alex, is just thankful that firefighters were able to save his furry friends and had a special message to the first responders.
“Thanks firefighters, I really like the animals there,” he said.
And he’ll be able to see them all once again when he returns to school on Monday.