A fire that broke out early Sunday morning has badly damaged Hornby Island Community School.
Hornby Island Fire Rescue responded to the blaze around 2:48 a.m., and arrived to the front of the building as it was fully engulfed in flames.
The fire spread from the front to the rafter space under the metal roofing, and after crews opened the ceiling they were able to keep the fire from spreading further back into the building.
The front entryway, offices, staff room, mechanical and electrical room were heavily damaged. The middle of the building containing the library suffered some fire damage and some smoke damage, and the back only had smoke damage.
Denman Island Fire and Rescue was called in to provide mutual aid during the fire, and Hornby Island Fire Rescue says help by BC Ferries allowed the assisting department to quickly help tackle the blaze.
Posted by Brittany Jenna Andrews on Sunday, August 26, 2018
“[Denman sent] seven firefighters over to help us out and the ferries crew started up really early to get them over,” said Doug Chinnery, Hornby Island Fire Rescue fire chief. “Huge thanks to Denman fire and B.C. Ferries… the community is pretty heartbroken right now.”
Fire crews finished up at the scene around 10 hours later at 2 p.m.
There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and there is no suspected caused yet. Investigators will arrive tomorrow to look into the incident.
The school teaches classes of children from kindergarten to grade seven.
School District 71 staff travelled to Hornby Island early Sunday morning to assess the damage and say they are working with the community to implement a plan to ensure the continuity of educational programs on Hornby Island for the coming school year.
“The Board of Education is shocked and saddened that one week prior to the start of the new school year at the news of a devastating fire that has damaged the Hornby Island Community School, a rural island school that not only serves the many students and families of Hornby Island but the entire community,” said Board Chair Janice Caton in a statement.