SHAKER HEIGHTS-As the investigation continues into what caused a significant fire at Fernway Elementary in Shaker Heights Tuesday, the Board of Education responded in a heartfelt statement.
Fernway suffered major damage after the roof caught fire Tuesday around 11:00 a.m. Two Shaker Heights firefighters were injured battling the blaze.
According to the Shaker Heights Fire Chief Patrick Sweeney, "I had one firefighter with a burn to his hand and fortunately he’s okay. I do have one firefighter getting checked out at the hospital. We’re hoping he’s okay."
Officials say there was a contractor on the roof doing work on Tuesday, and they were working when the fire started. Sweeney says they can’t say whether the fire was related to the crews’ work.
The Shaker Heights Board of Education released the following statement on the district's website:
"Just like our entire community, members of the Shaker Heights Board of Education were shocked and saddened by the fire that did significant damage to Fernway Elementary School late this morning. Thankfully, no one was injured and the few staff that was in the building was quickly and safely evacuated. We want to extend our personal thanks to Chief Sweeney and the entire Shaker Heights Fire Department, as well as assistance from 14 neighboring fire departments, for their heroic efforts in bringing the blaze under control. We also want to thank Interim Superintendent Dr. Stephen M. Wilkins and his staff for the speed and grace with which they handled the situation. Finally, we want to thank the Fernway community for its support and words of encouragement. We share your tears. The District will work with the Fire Department to assess the magnitude of the damage. The Board and Administration will work together to consider our options for the Fernway community for the coming school year. As always, we will keep you informed. This is an unfortunate setback for all of us. Despite these difficult circumstance, we will work together to come up with a plan that meets the needs of the community."
Mayor David Weiss said the city and school board will work to get Fernway back up and running as soon as possible.