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April 07, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Firefighters suspect arson in church fire Firefighters suspect arson in church fire (April 07, 2004)

Jonas Raab
Special to the Almanac

Firefighters suspect arson in a fire that destroyed a classroom and caused an estimated $50,000 in damage at St. Anthony's Padua Church in North Fair Oaks around 6 a.m. March 24.

A man going to work at St. Anthony's Dining Kitchen at the church spotted smoke coming from a classroom and called the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, which had been smoldering for hours. It was set underneath the door of the classroom at the church, located at 3500 Middlefield Road, firefighters said.

The church was equipped with heat detectors, but those in the classroom either malfunctioned or failed to register, said Division Chief Harold Shapelhouman.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fire Marshall Jeff Aus at the Menlo Park Fire Protection District at 688-8400.

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