Hamshire-Fannett students back in class after fire

There were a mix of emotions asHamshire-Fannett Elementarystudents headed back to school for the first time in more thana week, after a fire heavily damaged the campus on Mar. 18.

Labelle-Fannett Fire Chief Charles Sonniersaid the fire started in the principal's office and spread to eight classroomsand the auditorium, eventuallycausing the roof to collapse.

The cause of the fire remains under investigationby the Texas Fire Marshal.

The school houses pre-kindergarten through third grade, but only pre-k through second graders started Mar. 27. Third graders will head back to class at the middle school on Mar. 28.                    

The school's principal, Karen Reneau, said it's been a whirlwind of emotions thelast couple of weeks, but she couldn't be prouder of the Hamshire Fannettstudents, parents and community.

"Our parents are great parents andthey're raising great kids," Reneau said. "They're showing them what a community is and what it means to be appreciative for what's being donehere."

The classrooms now occupied by students is ina completely separate building from where the fire took place. Authorities said the air quality and safetywas checked before they were allowed to go back.

Administrators said a weather day, which students will make up on June 6, was usedfor one of the days off. Reneau said theyhave applied for a waiver with the Texas Education Agency so thatstudents hopefully won't have to make up any of the other missed days.

Those left to pick up thepieces said they appreciate the continued support.

"We just want to continuesaying thank you so much for the outpouring from our community and from thesurrounding districts that have stepped up the local businesses from all around,it's just been a great thing for Hamshire Fannett," Reneau said.



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