A former elementary school used as a textbook warehouse by Visalia Unified School District has been all but destroyed by fire, the Tulare County Fire Department said Monday.
About $1 million of textbooks, including new ones slated for use next school year, were lost, the district said.
The cause of the fire is not known and is under investigation, Capt. Joanne Bear said.
About 6:45 a.m. Monday, a school district employee discovered a fire in the main building of East Union School, next to Linnell Camp east of Visalia.
The Tulare County Fire Department contained the fire to the building and kept it from spreading to outbuildings on the property on Road 156 south of Walnut Avenue, the school district said.
The Farmersville Fire Department and California Department of Forestry also responded.
East Union School was built in 1939. It was in used for instruction until the mid-1990s, after which it was used as a textbook depository.
Visalia Gleaning Seniors, a nonprofit group that collects produce for low-income seniors, occupies one of the outbuildings and was not affected by the fire. Several large metal storage containers used to store furniture were also spared.