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Mar 15, 2013 9:23 AM by Maddie Garrett

Clean-Up Crews Get School Ready for Students' Return After Fire

Crews continue to clean up Evans Elementary School in Colorado Springs Thursday and Friday, after a student set a fire in a bathroom that evacuated the school and shut it down for several days. Now crews are working around the clock to get the school ready for students' return on Monday.

Servpro was called in, and has crews of 50 working 12 hour shifts non-stop until Monday. They are tearing out tiles, cleaning every surface and every item in the eight classrooms and the hallways where the fire took place. The bathroom that caught fire has to be completely redone.

"It's going to be about $300 to $325 thousand dollars a cost to clean up and replace things, every ceiling tile has to be replace in this part of the school," said Principal Dustin Horas.

Horas said given everything that's happened, students and staff are taking things in stride. He said the evacuation went well for such a major event.

"Within 10 minutes, actually 8 to 10 minutes after the fire alarm went off, all kids were safe and accounted for," said Horas. "A difficult situation was handled pretty well."

Still, some parents had said they were unhappy with how it was handled, getting a notification almost an hour after the fire broke out. One parent expressed concern that other people who don't have children at the school, knew about the fire before they did.

But Horas said they did the right thing, and sent the email out as soon as they could.

"The first priority is, will remain and always will be the safety of kids. So my job and the staff's job is to ensure every kid is in a safe situation and accounted for and the rest of the stuff, the notification, can happen after that," replied Horas.

As for the student who set the fire, Horas couldn't give specifics but said, "I know what happened, I know how it was caused and it's definitely being dealt with."

The fire did interrupt some TCAP testing for two third grade classes and one fifth grade class that didn't finish. The principal said they plan to finish the test Monday, and do any make up tests next week.

He said they have been in contact with the State about their situation.



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