DOVER, Okla. – A high school in Kingfisher County burned down Tuesday morning, leaving school leaders scrambling to put together another plan for the future.
Dozens of firefighters from Dover, surrounding departments and volunteers worked together to battle the blaze at Dover High School early Tuesday morning.
Thankfully, they were able to save parts of the school district’s complex.
“Oh, it’s heartbreaking. Sad, very sad,” said Lee Mcnulty, long-time Dover resident.
It was around midnight when the fire alarm started going off in the high school.
When crews arrived, it was too dangerous to go inside, so they had to fight the fire from the outside.
“It’s going to be something in the building. It started in the back of the building, came out of the back wall, then spread to the front,” said Fire Chief Bobby Gardner, with the Dover Fire Department.
The Superintendent of Dover Public Schools said this is a big loss for teachers, students and everyone who calls Dover home.
“It means a tremendous amount to our community. The people of Dover love their school, very proud of it. It’s really the heartbeat and center of our community,” said Shannon Grimes, Dover Superintendent.
While the high school building is a total loss, crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings.
“We’ve been able to save the cafeteria, the grade school and the high school gym,” said Gardner.
Those buildings have smoke damage but are repairable.
Many people we spoke to are thankful the elementary school has minimal damage.
The building is more than 100-years-old and is considered a historical gem.
While long-time Dover residents say the community is resilient, it’s going to be a long road to recovery.
“Keep Dover in your hearts and your prayers,” said Mcnulty.
There’s no school until further notice.
Classes were already cancelled Tuesday for a funeral service that was scheduled for a 15-year-old student who passed away recently.
According to the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s Office, the fire was caused by a heat lamp in a science room.
The fire was ruled accidental.
In all, seven classrooms and the principal’s office are a total loss.