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Sauna burns at senior center

San Diego Firefighters at night

SAN DIEGO — An electrical problem sparked a fire in a Rancho Bernardo senior community center’s sauna, causing no injuries but leaving around $350,000 in damage, fire officials said Friday.

A maintenance worker for the Oaks North Community Center at 12578 Oaks North Drive reported the fire shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday, and firefighters from San Diego, Poway and Rancho Santa Fe pulled up to find smoke billowing from the unoccupied facility, which covers an area of around 1,500 square feet, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

A HazMat team was called because swimming pool filters and chemicals were being kept in an adjacent building, but it was later determined that there was no chemical hazard and the building containing the chemicals was not compromised, Swanson said.

Swanson said investigators determined that the fire was electrical in nature and had started in the men’s locker room sauna. The blaze caused $250,000 in damage to the building and $100,000 in damage to its content, he said.