Animo Charter High School fire caused by electrical problem, says fire official

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The fire that destroyed a building housing Animo South Los Angeles Charter High School in South Los Angeles was caused by an electrical problem in the building's attic, a county fire official said Thursday.

RELATED: Fire collapses roof at Animo Charter High School; students out for summer

The flames -- reported at 2:21 p.m. in the 11000 block of South Western Avenue -- spiraled about 100 feet in the air, making the fire visible throughout much of the Los Angeles Basin, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Rick Flores said.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, but all were treated at the scene, Flores said.

"The fire's origin was in the attic," he said. "The cause was determined to be an electrical problem whose origin was not specifically known."

A damage estimate was not yet available, Flores said. About 20 minutes after firefighters arrived at the scene, they went into defensive mode, moving out of the building and drowning the fire from the exterior, Flores said.

The fire went to a second alarm at 2:42 p.m.

Sanchez noted that there were no students, staff or teachers at the campus.

Christina de Jesus -- CEO of Green Dot public schools, which runs the charter school under Los Angeles Unified School District control -- said that despite the fire, school would start as scheduled on Aug. 12.

"We are working very closely with Los Angeles Unified School District officials on contingency plans to continue serving our students,'' de Jesus said. "School begins on Aug. 12 and we will have a plan in place to serve all of our students."

The school opened in 2004.

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