UPDATE Monticello, Fla. 1-23-13
Hours after flames ripped through the Jefferson County elementary school, firefighters were still on the roof putting out hot spots. Just after 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday they arrived to find flames coming from one of the buildings at the school.
"We lost five classrooms," said school superintendent Al Cooksey. "We started notifying the families about 6:30 [a.m.] to not to come to school today."
After the blaze was controlled, firefighters brought out about a dozen filing cabinets that were found in one of the two rooms that were on fire. The school is home to about 550 students. Staff members were thankful this happened when the children weren't in class.
"I was just elated that God sparred us to not have the children in the building because material things can be replaced but the children we cannot," said Sandra Saunders.
Officials say there's plenty of room in the other buildings to house the students whose classrooms were burned meaning school will resume on Thursday.
"Construction crews should be in today to contain the building but other than that it will be business as usual," said Dr. Gwen S. Coverson, principal of Jefferson County elementary.
Once the insurance company looks at the damage, officials we decide whether or not to fix the building or demolish it.
The fire marshal's office has yet to determine the cause but school officials tell us they believe the fire was electrical.
Jefferson County, Florida - A local school is closed today.
The Communications Supervisor of the school board says there was a small fire at Jefferson Elementary School this morning.
The Jefferson County Fire Department says crews are still on the scene.
Jefferson County Elementary School is closed for today. T
The middle school and high school will remain open.
WCTV has a reporter at the school, and we will bring you more information as soon as possible.
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