Summer School Up in the Air after Fire Destroys St. Cloud Early Childhood Center

Updated: 06/16/2014 7:38 AM
Created: 06/15/2014 7:11 AM
By: Beth McDonough

Crews tore down what's left of a St. Cloud school that sustained heavy damage in a fire officials believe may have been started by lightning.

St. Cloud Fire Chief Bill Mund says tearing down the Roosevelt Early Childhood Center was the only way to get at all of the fire so it doesn't keep smoldering.

The official cause is still under investigation; Mund says neighbors reported a "loud bang" that might have been a lightning strike, but he says it's still too early to confirm that as the cause.

When part of the roof started to collapse, fighting the fire became especially difficult and dangerous. "Conditions inside deteriorated rapidly, the firefighters were ordered evacuated from the building," Mund said.

Nobody was injured in the fire, which was reported just after 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The fire burned for up to 12 hours.

Meanwhile, summer school was supposed to start at the building Monday for 140 students. A meeting was held Sunday night to determine where classes will be held.

The Roosevelt, as it's known in town, was named for Teddy Roosevelt. It was built in the 1920s and was expanded and remodeled through the years.

This photo shows the fire blazing Sunday morning at the Roosevelt Early Childhood Center in St. Cloud.
Photo: Twitter/@lisaztweets
A fire ignited at Roosevelt Early Childhood Center in St. Cloud.
Photo: Twitter/@TimRelates
Crews demolished parts of the building to control the fire.
Photo: Facebook/Nina Manuel

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