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Arson Suspected As Two Schools Burned Within Mile Of Each Other

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CARMICHAEL (CBS13) – Arson investigators are saying four fires Saturday morning were intentional.

Less than a quarter mile from each other, Marconi Montessori and Phoenix Elementary in Carmichael were found heavily damaged by fire.

“Our crews responded to a structure fire,” said Sacramento Metro Fire Chief Walt White.

Two schools, and two other locations, were the target of what investigators are calling arson.

“So you have two preschool fires within blocks of each other, within hours of each other,” said White.

At 11:15 p.m. Friday night, Sacramento Metro Fire Department responded to fire number one at Phoenix Elementary.

The single alarm blaze completely destroyed one of five buildings, putting some of the 150 students without a classroom.

“Our building is completely gone,” said Debbie Salvino, director of Phoenix Elementary.

Just two hours later at 1:20 a.m., firefighters rush just a quarter mile away to Marconi Montessori to find violent flames that, again, gutted and destroyed the schools main modular unit.

“These fires are under investigation. They were intentionally set,” said White.

Another small fire was found across the street in the book return at the Carmichael Library, then more flames found in bushes at the Loma Linda apartment complex.

As investigators look for leads and seek tips from the community, White says the fires create a major effect on this educational system.

While the damage at the Carmichael Library and apartments were minimal, the two learning facilities will need to be completely rebuilt.

“They really hurt the kids, makes me really sad,” said Salvino.

Fortunately no one was hurt this morning. In the fires and no other structures were damaged.

If you have any information, please call the Arson Tip Line at (916) 859-3775.

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