Fire breaks out at Tiburon day care center

February 22, 2008 6:12:19 PM PST
A fire broke out at a child care center in Tiburon Friday, but the quick-thinking staff safely evacuated 60 young children.

The fire was reported about 11:30 a.m. at the Belvedere-Tiburon child care center. Tiburon fire chief Rich Pierce said it was tough to fight and took firefighters more than an hour to control it.

Some fires are notable for what they burn, but at the Belvedere-Tiburon Child Care Center, it's what they saved.

"I rushed to get here. I'm still shaking," says Yami Hyter, a mother.

Hyter kept her daughter Sara close Friday afternoon, in the aftermath of a fire that gutted the day care center filled with kids ranging in age from three to ten.

From what we're told, most fire drills don't go as smoothly as this evacuation. Sixty kids moved out of a burning building without as much as a scratch.

"We knew it wasn't just a fire drill. We knew something went off but no one knew it was this big. No one saw flames. No kids saw flames," says teacher Leslie Sodaro.

Sodaro is one of the teachers who moved the kids out. There were more kids than they would usually have because this is ski week.

Staff moved them to the safety of a nearby elementary school and called their parents, because as some photographs sent to us at ABC7 News show, this blaze had its moments. There's no known cause yet but it began in a ceiling.

"This could have been much worse than it was. They got the job done," says Pierce.

They got the big job done anyway. A building was demolished, but its precious contents were preserved.