Chula Vista

Light Pole Collapses, Crushes Bleachers at Otay Ranch High School

The stadium at the high school in Southern San Diego County was not in use when the pole collapsed

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A stadium light pole at Otay Ranch High School caught fire and collapsed, crushing a section of bleachers and damaging the track below.

Chula Vista Fire Department firefighters responded to the school on Olympic Parkway at around 7:30 p.m., but had to wait about a half-hour to extinguish the blaze while San Diego Gas & Electric turned the power off, according to CVFD Captain Linda D'Orsi.

The pole broke about 15 feet from the ground, and the upper section, about 50 or 60 feet of pole, toppled down over a section of bleachers lining the track and football field. The light bank at the top of the pole crashed onto the track, sending glass and dented light canisters in every direction.

No school buildings were damaged, Captain D'Orsi said. The stadium was not in use when the pole caught fire.

Vernon Moore with the Sweetwater Union High School District said the district had not yet estimated the amount of damage and would have to assess the scene Wednesday morning.

Through at least this week, any team scheduled to use the field will have to be relocated to another field on campus or in the community, according to Moore. Otay Ranch's first football game is scheduled for April 3.

"Our first priority is always to ensure that our students and staff members are safe. We are grateful for the quick work of our coaches who ensured that student-athletes immediately evacuated the area and for our classified staff that took swift action to shut off the power to the field and contact the Chula Vista Fire Department. Of course, we thank the firefighters who responded promptly to protect our campus and surrounding community," Moore said.

CVFD is investigating the cause of the fire.

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