Storm caused A.C. Moore fire
Published 10:15 am Monday, June 13, 2005
By By Lee Weyhrich
Lightning has been determined as the cause of a fire at A.C. Moore Elementary.
On March 31 when firefighters initially responded to the blaze some firefighters suspected the school had been deliberately set on fire.
"First we thought it might have been arson," Fire Chief Gerry McGhee said. "But we got the fire marshall out and come to find out lightning hit it. They (the fire marshall's office) called the National Weather Service and they said at about that time a heavy lightning storm came through here and they think that's possibly what started it."
Firefighters had to saw through a portion of the roof to extinguish the flames. McGhee estimates the damage at between $1,000 and $2,000.
"As soon as we got in there and everything we probably had the fire out in 25 to 30 minutes, " McGhee said. "It just got started breaking through when we got there. It was started in the breezeway so we cut the top and made sure we had it where we could see through there.
The Breezeway connected two buildings so neither building was seriously damaged.
"It was a just a walkway that connected one wing to another," A.C. Moore Principal David Nolin said.
Work was being done to repair the damaged structure when Arlene's rain forced workers to stop.
"They're working on it," Nolin said. "They hadn't quite gotten finished with it but I think it will be ok. It was about a six-foot section that got burned. We're just going to replace the roof and the rafters and it will be ok.
A similar incidence occurred June 2 when an air conditioning unit burned up at Escambia County High School flooding several rooms with smoke. There was no major damage in that incidence