Fire Rips Through Horace Mann Middle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Fire Rips Through Horace Mann Middle

The fire and smoke damage is done at Amarillo's Horace Mann Middle School. But there is still no word on how it started. NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg joins us live from the campus tonight to tell us what was lost in the blaze.

The brunt of the damage was to Assistant Principal Steve Austin's office, which is where those wooden panels are covering the windows. We spoke with Austin tonight about what it's like to see what the blaze left behind.

"When I first saw it my heart just sank. This where I spend most of my day everyday, talking with kids, go in there and see them shoveling your office out with a shovel, it's pretty disheartening," says Steve Austin. 

Flames broke out at the school around 10 o'clock Wednesday night. Fire fighters were able to contain them to the administrators office area. And this is what is left today.

"A pile of ashes," says Austin.

And a building full of smoke damage. Austin tells us his college diplomas were among what was destroyed.

"Those are pretty valuable to me, sure I'll be able to replace them but just to think they were in there and they're gone," says Austin. 

What makes the fire even harder to swallow is that millions of dollars in renovations were just completed. Every surface in the school was brand new. Tonight, it's covered in soot.

"Our kids and families and teachers have put up with construction and noise for two years and once we feel like we're pass that looks like we're going to be under some again," says Assistant Principal Greg Vincent. 

Now the focus is to clean up and repair.

"They are working on getting the office back in shape and get the building cleaned up for school," says Becky McIlraith, AISD spokeswoman. 

Just in time for classes to begin August 27th.

"It'll be okay again but just right now it hurts to see it," says Austin.

Tonight the Fire Marshal continues to investigate the cause of the fire. The AISD school board has called an emergency meeting for Friday to decide what other action should be taken to get the building cleaned-up.

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