Fundraising effort to help 2 Los Gatos schools damaged in fire

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Fundraising effort to help Los Gatos schools damaged in fire
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A fundraising effort is underway in Los Gatos to help two schools that have been impacted by a fire.

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KGO) -- A community restoration fund has been set up to help replace computers, musical instruments and other items damaged in a fire at a Los Gatos school complex this week.

The Loma Prieta Community Center is known as the meet up place in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A lot of people and groups use it. Now, a fence is keeping people out. However, there is a big effort to help replace what was lost.

The fire damaged the building that sits between the Loma Prieta Elementary School and CT English Middle School off Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Investigators say a 17-year-old boy and his friends were there to smoke marijuana Sunday night, but when no one had any, so they decided to keep warm by lighting a cardboard box on fire. The smoldering remains were thrown into a garbage can sitting next to the building -- leading to the fire. Classes were cancelled for the 500 or so students for the two schools on Monday.

The community center is used by several different groups -- including a seniors group and theatre in the mountains. The Santa Clara and Santa Cruz County sheriff's offices had a substation and the schools used the gym for PE and some of the rooms in the community center for music, art and dance classes.

The foundation is now raising money to help in the rebuilding efforts. Insurance will help, but so much more was lost -- including musical instruments, art supplies, sports uniforms, laptops, iPads, computers and other electronics as well as all the theater materials.