Board of Education responds to Shaker Heights elementary school fire: 'We share your tears'

Drone footage reveals extent of damage to Shaker Heights school

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - The Shaker Heights Board of Education released a statement following Tuesday's devastating fire at an elementary school.

Just like our entire community, members of the Shaker Heights Board of Education were shocked and saddened by the fire that did significant damage to Fernway Elementary School late this morning. Thankfully, no one was injured and the few staff that was in the building was quickly and safely evacuated. We want to extend our personal thanks to Chief Sweeney and the entire Shaker Heights Fire Department, as well as assistance from 14 neighboring fire departments, for their heroic efforts in bringing the blaze under control. We also want to thank Interim Superintendent Dr. Stephen M. Wilkins and his staff for the speed and grace with which they handled the situation. Finally, we want to thank the Fernway community for its support and words of encouragement. We share your tears. The District will work with the Fire Department to assess the magnitude of the damage. The Board and Administration will work together to consider our options for the Fernway community for the coming school year. As always, we will keep you informed. This is an unfortunate setback for all of us. Despite these difficult circumstance, we will work together to come up with a plan that meets the needs of the community.

Crews battled the blaze, which is believed to have originated from Fernway Elementary School's attic or roof.

The roof is severely damaged and water from the firefighters' hoses rushed through the building like a waterfall as crews tried to extinguish the flames.

Image may contain: outdoor
Image may contain: outdoor

The school, which is nearly 100 years old, is set in a tight-knit community in the Fernway neighborhood of Shaker Heights.

Now, parents are in limbo until they hear for certain from the Board of Education their plan for students heading into the start of the school year in fall 2018.

School officials are remaining optimistic that the school can be saved, but said they will probably have to come up with an alternative school site for the fall.

Grief counselors will be available for those dealing with the emotions brought on by the fire.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.