MANNSVILLE—After a fire broke out in the Mannsville Public School’s cafeteria on Tuesday, community members, churches and other districts have come to support the school.
Smoke and flames began to make their presence known Tuesday at the cafeteria, prompting action from the school and local emergency responders. Mannsville superintendent Brandi Price said the situation was handled well by the school and noted the continuous practice of fire drills attributed to the handling of the situation.
“Everyone came out and stayed calm,” Price said, saying some students actually thought the evacuation was just a drill.
The fire, which is believed to be an electrical fire, caused damage to the cafeteria and kitchen areas. Price said the fire took about two hours to get under control and extinguished.
“It felt like forever at the time,” Price said of the time watching the emergency responders put out the fire. The building likely won’t need to be demolished, as the fire was contained before it could do significant damage to the cafeteria, though the kitchen area took the brunt of the damage.
The decision was made to close school for the rest of the week, which will allow Price and the district to determine a solution to get students meals. The district will also have spring break, which begins Monday, to determine a solution. Fire inspectors and insurance representatives still have to look through the cafeteria as well.
“The break gives us time to plan for when the kids do come back,” Price said.
Price said she has received “numerous” phone calls of support from local churches,
community members and area districts. On Tuesday, the Dickson High School band and Dickson superintendent Jeff Colclasure were coming back from a band competition and received a call that the fire had broken out in Mannsville. With the cafeteria having no electricity, Colclasure gathered some of the perishables and food that couldn’t be stored in freezers in Mannsville.
Colclasure said area school districts have helped each other in the past and work together often.
“It’s nice to be in an area where the districts are willing to help each other,” Colclasure said.
Price said local churches have offered their kitchens for the school to prepare meals for the students once school is back in session. While a plan is still being formulated, Price said the school could also use the gymnasium as a stand-in cafeteria and serve easily prepared meals. While a fire of any capacity isn’t good, Price said she is thankful no one was injured in the incident.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Price said.