Aug 14, 2013 7:43 PM by Akeam Ashford

South Rayne Elementary School Fire

Students at Rayne Elementary missed their first day of class after the school was vandalized and the gym caught fire. Officials aren't sure at this point if the two incidents are related.

It wasn't until fire fighters responded to the fire that the vandalism was discovered. A portable building was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and doused with shaken soft drinks.

The fire in the gym was contained to one area.

School Principal Amy Whatley says the vandalized portable building is used for adaptive P.E. exercises and speech therapy sessions for special needs students.

"Right now I have a mixture of feelings," says Whatley. "I'm excited about the school year, but heart broken that our children won't be coming to school to what they're use to."

Across the breezeway, the schools gym won't be ready for students. The fire was contained to a storage room and a closet; ashes and soot cover the floor.

Deep down, Whatley says she doesn't believe anyone would set the gym on fire.

"We just simply don't know, but school goes on," says Whatley. "Bells will ring in the morning, the bus will drop the children off at the same location, except they will go down the sidewalk and into their classrooms."

School will be in session tomorrow morning because the damage was contained.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.



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