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Officials Hope To Have Fire-Damaged School Open By August

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DURHAM, NC — Officials are investigating a fire that took place at a Durham elementary school Thursday morning.

Crews were called out to W.G. Pearson Elementary shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday. Six companies fought the two-alarm fire and brought it under control in 20 minutes.

No one was hurt. Investigators said a television set fell from a stand and shorted out, causing the fire. Damage estimates exceed $50,000.

"There was some type of water pipe or water main that busted either as a result of heat or whatever, so even on the upper floor, it's got several inches of water in every square foot up there," said Ron Johnson of Disaster One Recovery. "Come the first of the week, there'll have to be some intensive cleaning and repairs done. I think school starts in about four weeks, so we'll have our hands full, get things moving and get it done."

The Fire Chief says the school built in 1928 was somewhat protected because it is an all-brick structure. The main building was renovated in 1995.

Disaster recovery workers will use special equipment to dry out the school building for the next few days. Durham school officials have not said how long it will take to repair the building.

More than 100 kids were attending summer camp at the school. The camp will be moved Monday.


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