High School Cleaning Up After Fire

Since Friday's fire at Philadelphia High School, cleanup crews have been working almost around the clock to remove what was damaged and begin the process of repairing the structure.

"Only two (rooms) were destroyed by fire," said Superintendent Britt Dickens. "But smoke damage, we're going to lose eight classrooms for a number of months, so we're going to piece things together."

Smoke damage was extensive. Ceiling tiles in at least eight rooms had to be removed. Throughout the second floor there are places where smoke turned to liquid on walls.

Despite all of the damage, school officials say it appears that all of the affected classes will still be able to be held on campus.

"We don't think we're going to have to go anywhere else. We can move people around and go in empty rooms at certain times of the day and meet in the auditorium and the gym and wherever we can to make do," said Dickens.

The investigation into a cause is not yet complete, and PHS officials say a dollar figure for what was lost is difficult to determine.

The damaged classrooms are not expected to be ready before the start of the 2006-2007 school year, but air filters are running constantly to clear the air in the buildings.

Teachers will be able to return to work Tuesday, followed by the return of students on Wednesday.