Houlka School Fire Video With Collapse-Defensive Fire Operations 7/30/2014

Article from KNOE.com

“HOULKA, Miss. (AP) – Authorities in Chickasaw County say fire destroyed an unoccupied classroom building Wednesday at Houlka Attendance Center.

Firefighters tell WTVA-TV (http://bit.ly/UBQZ1B ) the building is a total loss.

Houlka Attendance Center is the only school in the Chickasaw County School District. Officials say it has an enrollment of about 600 in grades kindergarten through 12.

Classes are suspended for the summer and students are expected to return Aug. 6.

Superintendent Betsy Collums says the principal heard a possible explosion around 1 p.m.

Fire officials are investigating the fire’s cause. No injuries were reported.

The building was constructed in 1935 and also housed the school’s auditorium. Collums says the building was undergoing renovation and the district recently received a grant to replace windows and the heating and cooling system.

Article on Misspreservation.com

“Subcontractor Steve Fowlkes said he was capping gas lines for contractor Sonny Sullivan when the fire began. Fowlkes said he was soldering copper pipe in the attic and the fire kindled in insulation. He said he called for a fire extinguisher but the fire moved quickly and they evacuated the building.

The state fire marshal was expected to be in Houlka today to determine the fire’s official cause.

Houlka Fire Chief Terry Short said he was spending Wednesday night in a fire truck to secure the site and to douse hot-spots to keep the fire from rekindling.

The school building was just under 14,000 square feet. It was built in 1938 and had tall ceilings, pine wood floors and an asphalt shingle roof.

Short said the fire was in one room on the west side of the building when he arrived in Houlka’s fire truck. He said the truck ran out of water and the building was fully involved in the space of 10 minutes. The fire was reported to Chickasaw County 911 at 1:11 p.m. with most firefighters not leaving the scene until after 4 p.m.

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