Firefighters use a portable water tank to put out Saturday’s fire at the Eastwood Local Schools administration building and bus garage in Pemberville, Ohio.
THE BLADE/LORI KING
PEMBERVILLE, Ohio — Eastwood Local Schools employees managed to save buses and some important computerized information from the district’s combined bus garage and administration building before it was destroyed by fire Saturday morning.
District Superintendent Brent Welker said the fire’s cause was not known Saturday afternoon, but it was believed to have started in the garage.
The superintendent’s office and those of the district treasurer and board of education all were consumed by the fire, which was reported at 7:20 a.m. The 5,000-square-foot metal building at 4800 Sugar Ridge Rd. in Wood County’s Troy Township was built in 1992. A damage estimate remained to be determined.
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos from the scene of the fire.
Mr. Welker said Eastwood schools will be closed Monday.
Phil Donaldson, the district’s operations director, was headed to the building to plow its parking lot for a scheduled basketball game when an alarm company contacted him about the fire. Mr. Donaldson, Mr. Welker, and others saved some files and computer drives from the offices before firefighters barred them from going back inside, and moved eight buses away from the burning building, Mr. Welker said.
“There are things we weren’t able to save. We’re going to have to go step-by-step and re-create those documents,” Mr. Welker said.
“At least our student buildings are all fine. Once we get that tech infrastructure up and running, we’ll be OK.”
While no buses were destroyed, equipment and several trucks stored in the garage were lost, Mr. Welker said.
Troy Township Fire Chief Randy Woodruff said flames were visible from the garage area when firefighters arrived. A Troy firefighter injured his arm when he slipped on ice and fell.
The superintendent thanked firefighters, support personnel, and educational colleagues who helped and who contacted him.
The Troy Township and Pemberville-Freedom Township fire departments were assisted by crews from Perrysburg, Middleton, Wayne, Woodville, and Lake townships, with a total of 50 to 60 firefighters, according to Chief Woodruff.