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Midnight Fire Cancels Classes at Cancryn

Nov. 3, 2004 – Classes at the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School have been called off until further notice in the aftermath of a midnight fire that destroyed several study rooms, the art room and other facilities at the junior high school just outside Frenchtown.
School Superintendent William Frett told WVWI Radio One Wednesday morning that an assessment is needed to determine the extent of the damages: "We will be making that assessment and a public announcement will be forthcoming regarding classes at Cancryn." The announcement was made after 8 a.m., following a series of calls from irrate parents who had made the journey to the school only to find that classes had been canceled.
The classrooms, located on the western end of the campus, went up in flames at midnight Tuesday. From a distance away the bright orange flames could be seen licking the roof structure of the building. Thick, black, acrid smoke billowed into the night sky over Crown Bay.
Firefighters from three fire companies on St. Thomas converged on the scene and spent about 90 minutes containing and extinguishing the blaze. Ira Williams, deputy fire chief, said additional help was summoned when firefighters saw the extent of the fire.
"We are now at the point where our investigators will try to determine the cause and origin of the blaze," Williams said. The burned building sits a distance away from the school's cafeteria where voting was held on Tuesday. The junior high school is one of 18 polling places in the district.

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