Hector Elementary fire contained, investigators looking into cause

    7:05 PM, Dec 14, 2012   |    comments
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    Photo Gallery: Hector Elementary catches fire Thurs. night

    Video: Scene of fire at Hector Elementary

    Video: Hector Elementary fire contained, investigators looking into

    Video: Coming up: Fire damages Hector Elementary School

    • Hector Elementary on fire
    • Courtesy: Grant Merrill via Twitter
    • Firefighters on scene at Hector Elementary
    • Hector Elementary on fire

    HECTOR, Ark. (KTHV) - The remains of what used to be a part of the Hector Elementary School were still smoldering after fire destroyed a building on the school's campus Thursday night.

    For Melody Crane, Thursday night's fire at the Hector Elementary School hit close to home. She is the school district's business manager and said she used to attend school in the building that burned.

    "I went to first through third grade in that building. Plus, it was our cafeteria for a while, so everyone passed through that building for years and years," she said.

    Most recently the building was used to house therapy rooms, the computer lab, art room and special education classes.

    Firefighters worked long into Friday morning making sure flames didn't spread.
    Hector School District Superintendent Walt Davis said the community's response has been tremendous.

    The Assistant Fire Chief of the Hector Volunteer Fire Department said 11 departments responded and more than 100 firefighters were on scene.

    One of the most frustrating losses from the fire was food the students had recently collected. Part was going to their holiday food drive, and the other portion Crane said goes to provide meals for students on free or reduced lunches.

    "We have a major backpack program that is going to suffer because we had backpacks ready, packed to go home with kids today," Crane said.

    Superintendent Davis said it's a blessing the fire didn't spread to other buildings nearby.

    "Fortunately, the number of students that we serve in the building was not as large as it would be in some of the other buildings, so that will make it easier to find other spots on campus to provide those services," Davis said.

    Insurance adjusters visited the school Friday, and the fire investigators said that the burned building is still too hot for them to begin their investigation into what may have sparked the blaze.

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