Fire forcing Manitoba high school students to finish year off-site

A major fire is forcing students at a southern Manitoba high school to finish the school year off-site.

The fire took place at Notre Dame High School on Tuesday morning.

It’s believed that the blaze was started by an electrical issue, which was sparked when the janitor turned on the lights in the gymnasium.

“Seems like everything happened when he switched everything on in the morning,” said Alain Laberge, superintendent of Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine (DSFM).

“The power went on, the lights went on and it just started like this.”

Due to this fire, Grade 7 and 8 students will end the year at the elementary school, while other students are being moved to an arena. Some classes will also take place in Brandon for their lab practicums.

Laberge added that transportation will remain the same with this temporary set-up, adding that the division has already transferred internet connection to the arena.

“We are working with parents as well to make sure that they understand that their kids are safe,” he said.

“We have counsellors on board, learning assistants, just in case some students may feel the need to talk.”

Laberge said the fire damaged about two-thirds of the school, with the gymnasium sustaining the most damage.

Other than the janitor, there was no one in the school at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.

DSFM is hopeful that Notre Dame High School students will be able to return to the school in September.

– With files from CTV’s William Reimer.


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