PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Paragould School District is working on cleaning up damage after a fire in the junior high.
The custodial staff in the Paragould Junior High started to smell smoke Wednesday, July 6, in one of the classrooms.
The Paragould Fire Department responded to the call and stopped the fire from spreading.
"The fire department responded very quickly and was able to contain the fire to the one classroom," Superintendent Debbie Smith said.
Smith said the school is now working on cleaning up the damage.
"The majority of the damage is smoke damage," Smith said. "The classroom is in need of being gutted and repaired completely. It is a total loss."
Smith said the biggest issue they have to deal with is the damage from the smoke.
"The building itself does not have any structural damage," Smith said. "However, the smoke damage is causing more concern square footage wise."
Smith said crews are having to pull out ceiling tiles and insulation in the junior high due to the fire.
"The smoke embeds in everything," she said. "It is in the ceiling tiles, insulation, textbooks. We have technology devices that may or may not work now."
Smith said they are on a very tight scheduling but are trying to get the repairs done by the beginning of the school year.
She said she believes most of the work will be done by the time teachers return to work. The only part that may take some more time is the classroom.
"If the classroom, in particular, is not ready, that is okay; I have a plan B," Smith said. "That plan B for that classroom is to relocate to another area of the junior high until it gets completely restored and then we will move that classroom back."
Smith said although this was an unfortunate event, she is just happy everyone is okay.
"The number one thing is no one was hurt," Smith said. "We did not have any students in that particular area of the building although we did have students in the building."
She also thanked her staff; the fire department; and city, water, and light for their fast response and help.
"They responded so quickly and worked so efficiently, the damage could have been so much worse than it is," Smith said.
The fire department is still looking into the official cause of the fire.
Smith told Region 8 News that insurance will cover all of the fire damage.
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