Laurie school to reopen Monday

Building has been closed as SD5 staff and contractors repair water damage in gym, Home Ec wing.

The investigation into a fire at Laurie Middle School is ongoing, as school district staff have shut down the building for repairs stemming from a rooftop fire.

Cranbrook RCMP along with Fire and Emergency Services responded to the blaze early Wednesday morning, as fire fighters extinguished the blaze and police assisted with an investigation into the cause.

While authorities haven’t determined what started the fire, it is considered suspicious by the RCMP.

Anyone who has information about the fire is encouraged to call the Cranbrook RCMP at 250-489-3471 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The Southeast Kootenay school district has closed Laurie Middle School for Thursday and Friday, however, class will be back in session on Monday, Nov. 16.

Rob Norum, treasurer with School District 5, notes that while the fire was quickly extinguished, the activated sprinklers caused a lot of water damage inside the building.

“The fire damage was limited to the exterior of the building, but it did trigger our sprinkler system, so we didn’t get any fire inside the school because our sprinkler systems worked like they’re supposed to work,” Norum said.

Much of the damage, caused mainly from the sprinkler system, was limited to the Home Ec wing of the building. While staff and contractors are cleaning that area up to reopen on Monday, the gym was much harder hit.

“The gym is a different story. We’ve got water inside some of the walls and in some of the insulation in the ceiling and some water underneath the floor,” said Norum. “We don’t know the extent of the damage there, but we’re getting that assessed to see if we have to do any major renos.

“We’ve already had an engineer in; he’s going to continue to look at the building to make sure we don’t have any structural issues. We’ve had an air quality expert in and he’s cleared the building.”