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Fire Ravages School Cafeteria in El Monte

A three-alarm blaze gutted the cafeteria building of Mountain View high school in El Monte on Monday morning.

About 150 Los Angeles County firefighters extinguished a fire in the cafeteria of Mountain View High School in El Monte today and kept the flames from spreading to other campus buildings, authorities said.

The fire was reported at 2:27 a.m. but was already burning through the roof of the cafeteria of the school at Parkway Drive and Dahlia Avenue, said Los Angeles County Fire dispatch supervisor Ed Pickett.

One firefighter suffered a minor back injury but was not transported to a hospital for treatment, he said.

By 4 a.m., 75 firefighters were on the scene, Pickett said, and the operation had switched from an assault on the cafeteria fire to defense of the surrounding buildings. By 4:10 a.m. a third alarm fire was declared, and 150 firefighters were on the scene to aid in the defensive effort, dispatch supervisor Michael Pittman said.

The fire was knocked down about 6:30 a.m., but firefighters were expected to remain on scene for several hours to douse hot spots, authorities said. The cause of the fire was under investigation. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

- City News Service

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