Fire in a school a few days before the start of the school year, lightning could be the cause

Fire in a school a few days before the start of the school year, lightning could be the cause

Due to the severity of the damage, the school will not be able to accommodate students for the next school year.

The school in Stewart Valley, a village 35 km to the north of Swift Current, Sask., was severely damaged by fire.

The building was struck by lightning between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Friday morning, according to a posting on the municipality's Facebook page. The school also served as a community center.

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At the time of the incident, no one was inside the building.

This building was the center of activities for our village and neighboring communities, can we read on the municipality's Facebook page. The loss of the building is devastating to all who used it, especially the teachers and students preparing to return to class on September 1.

In an email sent to CBC, the Swift Current Fire Department says they were called to the scene around 7 a.m. Twelve firefighters and two trucks were needed to extinguish the flames.

While Stewart Valley residents say the blaze was started by lightning, the Fire Department points out that the cause is still to be determined. An investigation is underway.

Due to the severity of the damage, the school will not be able to accommodate students for the next school year, says the School Division's communications coordinator Chinook, Joanne Booth.

This is a huge loss for our Stewart Valley School community, she says. The Chinook School Division will provide assistance services to staff, students and their families.

The school division emergency plan has been put into action. Ms Booth explains that a plan for the next school year is being developed.

With information from Laura Sciarpelletti

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