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Fire damages McDonald Elementary School in Seffner

Hillsborough County firefighter Nico DiNova surveys the damage to a classroom.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Hillsborough County firefighter Nico DiNova surveys the damage to a classroom.

SEFFNER — Firefighters extinguished a two-alarm fire at a Seffner elementary school Saturday morning, but smoke has damaged much of the school, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue reported.

At 6:29 a.m., a fire alarm called firefighters to McDonald Elementary School at 501 W Pruett Road. Thirty-eight firefighters, six engines and other rescue units went to the school and put out the fire.

About one-third of the school has heavy smoke damage, and another third has moderate smoke damage, Fire Rescue reported. The classrooms for the lower grades suffered the most damage.

Fire Rescue battalion Chief Craig Lynn said fire marshals believe the fire was caused by a faulty extension cord in a kindergarten classroom in the southwest corner of the building.

Students will be able to attend the school Monday, said school district spokesman Stephen Hegarty. Teachers in heavily damaged classrooms will move to the media center and cafeteria, and students will eat lunch at their desks, he said.

A crew of about 50 people is cleaning the school and will through the rest of the week, Hegarty said. Students have the week of Nov. 23 off, and school officials hope to have students back in their classrooms when they return from the break.

Lynn said restoration crews estimated the cleanup would cost at least $100,000, but the fire marshals have not announced an official damage total.

Fire damages McDonald Elementary School in Seffner 11/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:35pm]
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