‘Playing the waiting game’: Summerville families impacted by school fire
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Many families are waiting to find out where their child will now go to school after a early-morning fire at a Summerville childhood development center.
Summerville Fire Department officials said they responded just after 5 a.m. Thursday to Archway Academy on Miles Jamison Road. They deemed the building “a total loss” and are still investigating the cause of the flames.
RELATED: ‘A total loss’: Crews battle fire at Summerville school
Hours after the flames were extinguished, the roof and most of the building remain completely charred. All that is left are a few tables, chairs and an outside play table of toys that the kids could have played with just hours before.
Kayla Ott’s daughter Amelia has attended Archway Academy for two years. Ott said that just four days ago, the kids took cap and gown pictures for preschool graduation inside the building.
She woke up Thursday morning to many missed phone calls from a friend trying to notify her of the fire. Once she heard the news and saw the photos, she knew there was no way Amelia would be going to school, amongst many other kids.
“We’re just kind of playing the waiting game,” Ott said. “They sent us a message this morning saying they’re trying to figure it out. I mean, they’re doing the best they can in all of this craziness. So, we’re just going to kind of wait and see what goes on.”
She says she is thankful that she has friends and family in the area that can take care of Amelia for the time being.
Ott says Archway Academy let the parents know about the fire and the staff are having a meeting to plan for what is next. She says she has heard rumors that they could be relocated to either one of the other Archway Academy Summerville locations, but nothing has been confirmed.
“Thankfully, my jobs, both of them, are flexible,” Ott said. “I can’t speak for other people. I know one of my friends, he did have to end up taking off the rest of this week and possibly next week as well because we don’t have childcare, you know. And people that are single parents like me. It’s very hard.”
Archway Academy has not yet said where or when the kids will be relocated.
Ott says Amelia is sad that her school is gone, but she is excited to make new friends wherever she ends up.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.