Education

Fire consumes part of Lincoln County school board office complex

A fire caused substantial damage Wednesday at the central office complex of the Lincoln County school board in Stanford.

The blaze consumed a wing of the Danville Avenue building that housed offices and classrooms for the preschool and Head Start programs, the school health office, food service for the building, a records section and the school district's technology hub, said Superintendent Karen Hatter.

Flames were shooting through the roof at one point, said Don Gilliam, the county's emergency management director.

Hatter said someone saw smoke in the building and pulled an alarm. The call about the fire came to the county dispatch center at 12:17 p.m.

Hatter estimated there were 30 to 40 people in the building at the time. Everyone got out safely.

Several fire departments fought the blaze and were able to stop it at a firewall between sections of the building, Hatter said.

As a result, the central administrative office for Lincoln County Schools and the alternative high school at the complex did not burn, though they sustained smoke damage, Hatter said.

However, fire officials told her to plan on not being able to use the building for months, Hatter said, meaning the system will have to arrange other locations for the central office and other programs.

"Our community has responded with many offers" of space to use, she said.

The school board is scheduled to meet Thursday about problems related to the fire.

The part of the building that burned was a former elementary school.

School was scheduled to start Thursday for students, but officials pushed that back to Monday.

The state Department of Education has offered help in getting the district's technology hub back up, Hatter said.

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