Mount Elizabeth School in Kitimat damaged by fire

John Crawford

Fire has damaged Mount Elizabeth Middle/Secondary School in Kitimat -- but School District 82 says the building should be available when classes resume sometime next month, although the gymnasiums will be out of commission for a while.

The fire was reported at around 10:10 Wednesday morning.

Kitimat Fire Chief Trent Bossence says fire fighters were able to contain the blaze quickly, and fire damage was limited to a wall area that separates the small and large gymnasiums, where the fire originated through the roof area.
"When you look at it as a complete structure, not a whole lot of damage in a sense of the wing that the fire was actually taking place on --- there was substantial damage to the one corner of the gymnasium and substantial amount of water damage due to the sprinklers being activated," he explained.

Bossence says the sprinkler system slowed the fire down, buying firefighters the time needed to get up to where the fire was burning.

"It would have been a completely different story if there wasn't a sprinkler system in that attic space, so credit to the sprinkler system itself for going -- these types of fires and inside those void spaces surrounded by cladding, it gets really hot really quick, so it takes quite a bit of water to extinguish these fires."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
There was a roofting crew working on the building, but Bossence says it's too soon to say if that had anything to do with the fire.
Bossence says one person required medical assistance at the scene, but was soon released and did not need to be taken to hospital.
School Superintendent Janet Meyer toured the site after the fire, along with the school's principal, vice principal and maintenance department to begin restoration plans.

The District says one individual received medical assistance at the scene and was released with no significant injuries.

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