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November 10, 2010 06:12 PM

Fire Damages Small North Dakota School

Lidgerwood, ND


A small, southeast North Dakota school just across the border is working to clean and fix after a fire, again.

Firefighters responded to the Lidgerwood School shortly after 5:00 Tuesday night to find a classroom engulfed. It's the second time in ten years the small school has had to recover from a fire.

Administrators canceled school Wednesday as officials investigated the fire. There's still no saying when things will be back to normal.

Two classrooms are already destroyed. Firefighters stayed on scene at the Lidgerwood School overnight and through the day to make sure flames didn't start up again and do even more damage.

"It's just the high school wing that got structurally damaged," superintendent Tony Grubb said.

Grubb hoped the elementary wing would be ready for students by the middle of next week. But now a fire inspector says smoke damage is more extensive than initially thought so that isn't likely.

"We're trying to get a contingency plan here so we can get our kids educated," Grubb said.

The district will send its high school students to a neighboring town and find places within the city to set up elementary classes.

For now, the state Fire Marshal is looking for a cause and has already ruled out arson. It started in an English room and spread to a home economics room before firefighters put it out.

"A lot of people were in town around 5:00 so we had real good response time," Lidgerwood Fire Chief Domonic Buehre said.

Ten years ago, firefighters contained the fire to one part of the school as well. Now it's just a matter of cleaning and fixing, again.

"We don't have much choice. You've got to take care of educating the kids and getting things back to order," Grubb said.

With Veterans Day and a state football tournament, the school wasn't planning have classes Thursday and Friday anyway. By next week, they hope to have students back in a classroom but administration and staff are still working out the details.

There were about a hundred people in the building for a regional volleyball tournament when in started on fire but they all got out safely.
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