Webster Groves High School, fire department investigate small roof fire at the school


Update by Scott Lunte:

The Webster Groves High School and the Webster Groves fire department are still investigating the  cause of a two-alarm fire that firefighters had to extinguish on Saturday, May 18.

Despite not knowing for certain the cause of the fire, Webster Groves School District Community Relations Director Cathy Vespereny believes  the fire was caused by the solar panels on the roof of the new high school’s wing.

The new high school wing was built in August 2012, and accommodates science, social studies, fine art and industrial art classes. The new wing also features outdoor vegetable gardens, rain collecting tiles, in addition to solar panels.

Vespereny said that parts of the solar panels were charred from the fire, but the building only suffered minor damage.

Webster Groves High School students are currently in finals week. One classroom was closed due to water damage caused by firefighters who put out the fire.

Vespereny said that repair costs to the building are currently unknown, but would be covered by school district insurance.

Original Post by Megan Favignano:

Firefighters from several departments put out a 2 alarm fire at Webster Groves High School Saturday afternoon. STL Today reported that the fire on the roof of the high school started around 1:45 p.m. The Webster-Kirkwood Times reported the fire was on the roof of the high school’s new addition.

The addition was a $28 million project, which opened at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. In August, Cathy Vespereny, community relations director for the Webster Groves School District described the building to The Journal as “the most advanced building in the district.”

KSDK reported the cause of the fire to be solar panels on the roof of the high school.

STL Today reported minimal damage but possible water damage to the thrid floor of the school from the firefighters extinguishing the fire. They also reported that school is expected to be open on Monday.

The building has spaces for each department of the school — science, social studies, fine art and industrial arts.

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