Downtown school closes Monday due to fire damage

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston City Fire Department put out a fire Sunday at the First Baptist Church School building in downtown Charleston.

According to fire officials they got a call at around 5:29 p.m. Sunday in reference to the Water Street building being on fire. Firefighters say smoke was seen coming out of the second and third floors of the three-story building when fire fighters arrived.

The fire was originally contained, but got into the walls and re-ignited some hot spots, which made it more difficult for fire fighters to put out. More crews had to be called to the scene.

The director of admission for the First Baptist Church School says classes have been canceled for Monday due to the fire.

Authorities say the building is a three-story wood frame and that the fire extended into the walls of the school.

"It's very difficult especially with an old structure like this there's a lot of void areas and we used several imaging cameras to thoroughly through the entire house, find any hot spots to find any active flame and go through the walls if they have to extinguish the fire," said public information officer Mark Ruppel with the Charleston Fire Department.

The school's administration will be forced to move classrooms around for the time being. Mullins says first thing Tuesday morning, students will be back in classrooms ready to go.

There is still no official word on how the fire started. The Charleston Fire Department will be investigating the building Monday.

North Charleston Fire Department, St. Andrews Fire Department and Charleston County EMS all responded to this fire.

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