Arson is suspected at Albert Lea Elementary School - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Arson is suspected at Albert Lea Elementary School

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Arson is believed to be the cause of a fire last night at an Albert Lea elementary school. Due to smoke and water damage students had the day off.

Footprints in the snow lead up to this broken window at the back of Lakeview School. It's here where the suspected arsonist broke into the school before setting fire to a classroom.

The call came in around 11 o'clock Thursday evening.

"I could see the fire trucks from my house, but I didn't know they were at the school, I thought they were maybe next door," said Superintendent, Mike Funk.

Much to the Superintendent dismay, the fire was at the school.

"The fire damage is very minimal.Most of the damage is water damage from the fire sprinkler system," said Doug Johnson, with the Albert Lea Fire Department.

More than 4-inches of water covered the floors and the smell of smoke lingered in the air. Classes were canceled for more than 400 students. The Superintendent told us it's disheartening that someone would hinder a child's education.

"We have a teacher who has a lot of personal lessons he has put together over the years and I think some of those were destroyed. This is impacting children's lives. It's just senseless vandalism," said Superintendent Funk.

Officials told us the investigation is still on-going at this time and they have no suspects.

The fire was contained to the one classroom. A damage estimate is not yet available.

The fire department is urging anyone with information to call the ARSON hotline at 1-800-723-20-20. If your tip leads to the suspect a money reward will be offered.


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