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Firefighters Save Historic Naval Academy In Lake Elsinore From Flames

At press time, there are no reports of injuries and the cause of the fire is not immediately known.

A small brush fire was reported late Friday afternoon near the historic and long-vacant Elsinore Naval and Military School on Grand Avenue.

Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Melody Hendrickson said the blaze was reported at 4:25 p.m. and was quickly contained by 4:54 p.m.

At press time she was awaiting word on total acreage burned, but said by 4:45 p.m. firefighters had stopped the forward rate of spread on the blaze at 1 acre.

There was no structure damage and no reports of injury.

Hendrickson said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Located on Grand Avenue at the Ortega in Lake Elsinore, theĀ Elsinore Naval and Military School was constructed in 1923, but was originally designed as a luxury resort. A bankruptcy eventually led to the sale of the building to Major Glen Conklin, who along with his wife Pearl, turned it into the Elsinore Naval and Military School for boys in 1933.

The school, often referred to as simply "the Academy," thrived well into the 1970s before it was shuttered.

The property was purchased in 2004 by Temecula-based land development firm The Garrett Group, and at last check the company still owns it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here for the story on a fire reported at a homeless encampment earlier in the day.

Balance May 11, 2013 at 05:34 AM
We are a pathetic town to let the Military Academy go unoccupied and undeveloped.
moms ride too May 11, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Great job cal fire! At one point us nearby residents were worried it would grow quickly because of all the brush on the property. The wind didnt help worries either but you guys showed up with the quickness. THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US PEPPER BEACH RESIDENTS!!!
julian May 11, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Send the bill to the Garrett Group for services rendered. The state of this landmark is appalling. This city should be ashamed of itself for letting this happen to this landmark. This building should have been bought by the city and used for adult education, a community college, a city recreation center, or something other then a decaying wasted resource owned by a company that can't even keep it's property clean and puts not only our city's legacy at stake but had that fire spread it could really be a disaster out here for all of us.
PirateGirl May 11, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Glad it was not damaged :) This place looks so cool. Love looking at it every time we ride by.
One Voice May 11, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I agree with most, the City should force the Garrett Group to do something with this building, I know it is full of asbestos and very expensive to restore and because it is registered with the Historical society it cannot be torn down. The Garrett Group bought this building years ago, they knew what they were buying, they need to start restoring it and the code enforcement needs to force the issue.
Ken Mayes May 11, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Its registered with who. The only Historical Landmark in Lake Elsinore appears to be the Crescent Bath House listed by Riverside County Parks as #64 (not sure who the bath house is register with, not on the state or national landmark list) in downtown Elsinore.
Ken Mayes May 11, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Your right about the city or county buying it, their the only ones that could afford to renovate this building and not expect a return on investment.
michael g May 11, 2013 at 11:44 PM
I have allways, thought it has been a BIG waste. just letting that building sit and rot. rat poop hell there now!!.
julian May 12, 2013 at 01:56 AM
It has "use value".
Ken Mayes May 12, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Julian Lake Elsinore has a community center on Graham (ever been there), the have an adult education center and the community college district has an 80 acre parcel of land in Wildomar tied up with no money to complete the purchase. This area needs local jobs and increased tax revenue not more feels good government purchases for their "use value".
Kenny Smalley May 12, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Turn it into the Lake Elsinore Casino and resort... Grand Ave. would be popping!
spike May 13, 2013 at 03:49 PM
I agree 200%. Since moving here and driving by it daily I cant help but wonder why it sits there empty. What awesome possibilities that property has.
spike May 13, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Speaking of random old buildings, what is the building that's up on stilts by the 15 off of Baxter on the West side? Also does anyone have any idea where the railroad tracks used to run way back in the day when Wildomar was a water stop?
Ken Mayes May 13, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Follow the Murrieta Creek through Wildomar and your pretty much on the old railroad right of way until you get to Mission Trail then it gets a little murky. County mapping system will show exact location if needed. Building on stilts is the old Brown House which someone had the bright idea and no money to save, it was moved from its original location on Grand across from the Middle School to make way for a housing development, its been there for a number of years. Maybe one day it will just fall over and then we won't have to worry about it.
JOHN MILLER May 13, 2013 at 11:34 PM
all i have to say is , the fire would have never happiend if the Security person was there , you remember the guy that lived in the 5th wheel on the property , with the big dogs . the property used to look nice then . but the city kicked him out . now look at the place . kids partying all the time , now a fire brakes out . it wont be long before somebody gets hurt , were is that guy that took cair of all that . THE CITY KICKED HIM OUT . NOW LOOK WHAT YOU ALL HAVE TO LOOK AT . A EYE SORE .... THANKS TO THE CITY . PEPOLE . THEY ARE IDIOTS . UNEDUCATED IDIOTS . MAKES ME LAUGH ...........

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