The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is investigating what caused the fire that damaged 8 classrooms and numerous offices at the Hamshire Fannett Elementary School in Fannett, located west of Beaumont.
LaBelle-Fannett Fire Chief Charles Sonnier says they were called to the scene at about 1:30 a.m. and there were no injuries reported. He says it appears the fire started in the principal's office.
Administrators tell 12News that elementary students will not return to class for the rest of the week. All other campuses will return back to normal schedules Wednesday.
During the fire, firefighters were pulled out twice when the roof over the front offices began to collapse.
Chief Sonnier says the fire burned eight classrooms, the auditorium and the office area of the school.
The fire was contained to one wing of the school but firefighters had trouble working their way into the burned building because of the collapsed roof and multiple roof structures.
A ladder truck from the Beaumont Fire Department was sent to help fight the blaze in response to LaBelle-Fannett firefighters calling in backup crews from surrounding fire departments. At least 11 fire departments responded to their request.
Chief Sonnier says departments from China, Nome, Cheek, Nederland, Port Neches, Sour Lake, Hamshire, Beaumont, Lumberton, Bevil Oaks assisted Labelle-Fannett.
A neighbor tells 12News she heard a lot of sirens. She said she looked outside and saw the flames coming from the school.
HF-ISD superintendent Pamela Morris is meeting with the district and school board at this time to go over contingency plans, saying she has already received calls from other districts offering help. She says the district is considering using portable classrooms to help the kids get back in class as soon as possible.
Voters in the district defeated a proposed bond in 2012 that proposed to replace the building that was built in 1950. It currently houses about 536 students in pre-K through 3rd grade.
The Hamshire-Fannet PTA has put together a list of needed supplies in light of the fire.
OFFICE: Copy Paper (while and color), Pens (Red and Blue or Black), Scissors (regular), Staplers and Staples, Paper Clips, Tape and Dispensers, Sticky Notes, Large Dry Erase Boards.
STUDENTS: Pencils, Spiral Notebooks, Crayons, Markers, Paint (Watercolor), Pencil Boxes, Glue (Elmers), Kleenex, Hand Sanitizer, Notebooks, Glue Sticks, Scissors (child), Pink Erasers, Construction Paper, Dry Erase Markers, Rulers.
NURSE: Band Aids, Neosporin, Gauge, Alcohol Pads, Hydrogen Peroxide, Ice Packs.
FINANCIAL DONATIONS: Make checks out to H-F PTA.
DROP OFF LOCATIONS: Grace Community, First Baptist Hamshire, Labelle Baptist, Abundant Life Sanctuary in Groves and Neches Federal Credit Union.
Newsroom: (409) 838-1212
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