Community to help teachers affected by school fire

State fire investigators are hoping to soon determine what caused the fire that ripped through Hamshire-Fannett Elementary School last month. Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office tell 12News they are currently waiting for asbestos test results to come back before they can do an on-site investigation. They say the results could come in as early as next week.

After hearing about the fire, Groves resident Denise Caples was heartbroken. A former student of the Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District, Caples and a friend are putting on a community fundraiser this weekend.

It will be held Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cowboy Church on the Rock near China.

Along with a silent auction of arts and crafts, Caples will be selling homemade soap and says the money raised will be given to the teachers who lost personal items they used to decorate their classrooms.

"It's a second home, I mean the classrooms mean a lot to these teachers, and they put a lot into it," said Caples.

No one was hurt in the fire, but due to destroyed classrooms, many classes had to be moved to unaffected areas of the school and some to the nearby middle school. HF-ISD Superintendent Pamela Morris says the transition has gone smoothly thanks to the resilience of the students, something that doesn't surprise Caples.

"It's a place that you want your kids to grow up and be a part of... it's more than just a school, it's a community, it's a family," said Caples.

Caples says they plan to give the affected teachers a VISA gift card they can use to buy what they want for their future classrooms.


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