A suspicious two-alarm fire that torched six classrooms at Kahului Elementary School last Friday will keep the campus closed to students until Monday, Dec. 4, according to the Hawaii State Department of Education.
Staff will be reporting as normal as the school continues work to ensure the campus is safe for students.
Maui police said the fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. Friday night and believe it could be a case of arson. Flames tore through four classrooms, two portable classrooms and affected the school’s water lines, DOE said. MPD said there were no reports of injuries.
Maui Representative Justin Woodson says by daylight Saturday, it was clear just how bad the damage was.
"Ultimately, you're just hurting the kids... The kids suffer from this type of thing," Maui Rep. Justin Woodson said.
One building had been completely gutted from the fire. There's also damage on an adjacent building as well as to a portable on campus.
According to the DOE, flames tore through four classrooms, two portables and damaged the school's water lines.
An initial estimate lists at least $1.2 million in damage.
But the Valley Isle's world famous generosity is surfacing. The school's PTSA started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to rebuild and cover the loss of teaching/school supplies.
"There's been a tremendous outpouring of community support and that's kind of how Maui is. Everyone comes together and helps out. I've been contacted by contractors construction agencies individuals that specialize in water restoration so the support is there," Woodson said.
The fire is the second bizarre incident the school has dealt with this month. About a week ago, a man's body was found near campus. School faculty were able to redirect students away from the scene.
Rep. Woodson says the elementary will be installing surveillance cameras on property.
Principal Keoni Wilhelm said in a statement:
"We are saddened by this fire and are cooperating with fire investigators at this time. Many community members have offered support and we are very grateful."
Anyone with information on Friday's fire should call Maui Crimestoppers at 242-6966.
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