SHSS re-opens after fire causes closure

Clean-up crews have restored SHSS to normal conditions. Students have been allowed to return and class has resumed.

Chris Stedile

 

Castlegar News

 

Stanley Humphries Secondary school reopened Monday following a fire in a boys washrooms on the main floor that closed the school Wednesday.

The fire, believed to have been deliberate, damaged equipment in the washroom while smoke caused damage throughout the building.

Principal Aaron McKenzie swiftly extinguished the fire and there were no injuries, but staff and students were evacuated.

After the scene was assessed, teachers were allowed back in to retrieve any essential items belonging to students. All students were sent home by 12:30 p.m.

School was expected to resume Thursday but superintendent Greg Luterbach released a statement explaining more work needed to be done.

“Given our need to clean the school and deal with the smoke damage Stanley Humphries Secondary School will be closed to students and staff on Thursday,” Luterbach said in an email following the incident. “The school will remained locked in order to secure all of the materials within it and to ensure we can proceed promptly with the clean-up.”

School district staff worked alongside two local clean-up crews as well as a specialist team from the Okanagan to clean air ducts and deal with smoke damage, among other things.

Not only did the blaze disrupt normal school activities and bring with it a price tag of somewhere in the tens of thousands, but the SHSS girls basketball tournament was relocated to Trail’s J.L. Crowe.

The bathroom where the fire occurred will remain closed while additional work is done. Until then, another room has been opened to accommodate student needs.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in the clean-up.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated,” Luterbach added.

Police are still investigating the fire.

 

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