Fire cancels classes at East St. Louis school until Monday

News-DemocratMarch 5, 2014 

— As a result of an early Wednesday morning fire that left intense smoke damage and a horrid smell, there will be no classes for the students at Lincoln Middle School until Monday.

Beth Shepperd, assistant superintendent of District 189, said the fire started in a classroom in the seventh-grade wing and initially school officials closed off that wing. But the "smoke smell intensified and we made the decision to send everyone home. We brought in professional cleaners and individuals to check the air quality."

Shepperd said Superintendent Arthur Culver wanted to give the cleaners an ample amount of time to finish their work so the decision was made to call classes off until Monday.

Shepperd said the days will not have to be made up.

"I checked with the Regional Office of Education and we will not have to make the days up because it happened at a single school in a multiple school district. Shepperd said.

Fire Chief Jason Blackmon said the fire was called in at 5:30 a.m. and by 5:45 a.m., the one crew who responded to the building had extinguished the fire. He did not know what caused the fire.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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