July 22, 2014

Fire damages Racine elementary school

Portions of a Racine school suffered heavy damage, following a fire in the building early Thursday morning.

Fire fighters were called to Mitchell Elementary school at about 1:30 this morning after police responding to a burglar alarm spotted smoke coming out of the building. Crews found an intense fire in the school’s gymnasium, which Fire Chief Steven Hansen says eventually caused the roof in that section of the building to collapse. Firefighters were in a hallway outside the gym at the time and had to evacuate.

The fire was brought under control by about 4:30 Thursday morning, with crews spending much of the day putting out hot spots. They were able to keep the fire from spreading to other sections of the elementary school and adjoining middle school buildings.

Subzero temperatures made it difficult for crews and Hansen says they kept working to warm up responders before sending them back in. The only reported injury was a fire fighter who slipped on some ice.

District officials are still working out where the 1,100 elementary and middle school students will attend classes on Friday.

WRJN