Fire at Martin Park Elementary School - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Fire at Martin Park Elementary School

ALEXANDRIA, La. -- A fire kept students from Martin Park Elementary School from heading to class Friday morning. So, they'll have to go somewhere else when they return to school on Tuesday.

But, they won't be going back to Martin Park. They'll have to have school somewhere else for the next few months because firefighters say the fire caused extensive damage at their elementary school.

News Channel Five's Brooke Buford was there when firefighters were putting that fire out. She has the story.

Fifth grader Tyrone Lee got an unexpected day off of school on Friday. That's because his school, Martin Park Elementary, caught fire.

"It was bad because we couldn't get out education and now we have to find a school to go to," he said.

The Alexandria Fire Department says a maintenance worker discovered the fire around 5:30 Friday morning. Soon, more than two dozen firefighters were on scene trying to save the school from burning down.

Thankfully, students and staff members weren't inside.

"They could have walked in the school and never knew anything, they could have lost a lot of kids," said Tyrone Lee, Sr., Tyrone's dad.

About an hour later, firefighters had the blaze under control and began investigating.

"Get the smoke out of the building, there's still a lot of smoke in the building," said Fire Prevention Chief Larry King. "And, then the investigators will get in and determine, hopefully determine what happened."

Investigators believe the fire started in the middle of the school, where many of the classrooms are located. Inside they say they found extensive fire, smoke and water damage and say the fire caused part of the roof to cave in.

"They'll be out of business for a little while," said King. "I haven't done a complete walk through in the school. I've looked through the doors and with all the heavy smoke, smoke tends to damage a lot of things that weren't damaged by the fire."

The school board met Friday afternoon and decided that they will have to take a look at whether to save the building. Until they make those decisions, the 400 students will remain in classes at the old Lead Center.

---

ALEXANDRIA, La. -- A 2-alarm fire that broke out Friday morning at Martin Park Elementary School is now out.

The Alexandria Fire Department tells us a maintenance worker discovered smoke in the building when he arrived Friday morning around 5:30. He called the fire department and about 30 firefighters were on the scene soon after.

Investigators tell us they believe the fire started around the middle of the school, where there are mostly classrooms. They also say the roof over that part of the school collapsed from the blaze.

Students who were on their way to class were re-routed to Horseshoe Drive Elementary to be picked up. We talked with one parent and student who say they could hardly believe what happened.

"I was going to work this morning and I was on my way back and my wife called me and let me know that the school was on fire," said Tyrone Lee, Sr., a parent. "I came back down and could barely see."

"I wondered who did it," said Tyrone Lee, Jr., his son. "It was bad because we couldn't get out education and now we have to find a school to go to."

Investigators are trying to find out what the cause of the fire could be.

We also spoke with the school board Friday morning. They're meeting right now to decide what will happen next week when school resumes and where they will put the children.

---

ALEXANDRIA, LA - A fire has been reported at Martin Park Elementary School in Alexandria on Friday morning.

Classes at the school have been canceled for Friday.

Any students who were dropped off early or brought over by a daycare service can be picked up at Horseshoe Drive Elementary School.

School officials tells us there is a lot of smoke in the building.

No word yet on what caused the fire.

**Stay with News Channel 5, CBS 2, and kalb.com for the latest updates.**

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