Schools closed Wednesday after Willoughby-Eastlake Board of Education fire

Firefighters at news conference. (Source: WOIO)
Firefighters at news conference. (Source: WOIO)

WILLOUGHBY, OH (WOIO) - Willoughby-Eastlake Superintendent Steve Thompson said schools will be closed on Wednesday after firefighters battled a 3-alarm fire overnight at the Willoughby-Eastlake Board of Education building.

The fire destroyed the server in the basement of the building and although they have an off-site back-up, until it is restored, they have no way to access the internet or phone calls.

According to Willoughby Fire Department Chief Todd Ungar, crews from Willoughby and more than 12 assisting jurisdictions responded to the building around 12:30 a.m. Firefighters arrived to the building with heavy fire showing from two floors. The crews initially battled the fire from the inside of the building, but had to evacuate because of the threat for a floor collapse, according to Ungar.

Ungar said the firefighters had difficulty extinguishing the blaze because of the age of the building, high winds, and frozen fire hydrants and water supplies.

"The biggest thing that we had a problem with were hydrants being frozen," according to Chief Ungar.

The fire, at 37047 Ridge Road in Willoughby, also destoyed personnel files.

The cause remains under investigation.

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