Cause of fire at Lakota school under investigation

WEST CHESTER TWP. — A fire reported Monday morning at Hopewell Junior School in the Lakota district is out after multiple fire departments responded.

The township reports the fire was called in around 9 a.m. as a kitchen fire; scanner traffic indicated it may have been in a locker room in the building on Cox Road.

When the first crews arrived on scene there was smoke showing from the roof, said West Chester Fire Department Assistant Chief David Pickering.

The fire was in the back of the school near the boys locker room and woodshop, he added.

No one was in the school during the fire.

“It’s a good thing kids were not in school; however, tomorrow is a school day so they’re going to need to get in an assess the damage and see where we can go as far as whether or not the school is going to be able to open tomorrow for normal operations,” Pickering said.

Firefighters battled the fire from inside the school and the roof.

“The fire did affect the roof and we did have to cut a significant portion of the roof,” Pickering said.

A fire investigator will examine the damage to determine where the fire started and what caused it. Pickering said representatives from the school will also be brought in to help determine if classes will continue as normal on Tuesday.

Mutual aid from other fire departments was called to the school.

Schools throughout the region are closed for the Labor Day holiday. There have been no further details released.

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