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Fire damages Oak Hill school

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The owners of a private school in Oak Hill will use the upcoming spring break to rebuild part of their school that burned to the ground Friday

The Cedars Montessori School has been part of the Oak Hill community since it opened nearly 40 years ago. However, Friday morning the 170 students who attend the school were told not to come. Their teachers and the staff at Cedars were busy with another assignment. They were trying to salvage what they could from classrooms that had burned to the ground.

The Oak Hill Fire Station is less than a mile away, but when fire crews first arrived a little before 5 am the elementary school building was already gone. The focus became containment.

"And thank God we had high humidity, this morning because there were embers 2, 3, 400 feet away from the building. It could have gotten bad, it could have gotten really bad yes," said District Fire Chief Robert Hartigan.

The fire also jumped into the attic of another building, the school library. As one crew knocked down the flames another team carried out book cases. What they couldn't reach was covered to prevent water damage.

"These are people's stuff and belongings, maybe stuff somebody donated to the school. Part of our mission is to save property," said Chief Hartigan.

Saving the contents of the library took some of the bitterness out of the day for those at Cedars .

Jill Young, who owns the school with her husband, told FOX7 a dedication ceremony at the library was held on Thursday. It had been built with the help of the parents of a former student who died in a plane crash about three years ago.

Investigators have not been able to determine a cause.

The owners have insurance which will allow them start rebuilding. Classes will resume after Spring Break.

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