LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - The nearly 450 students who attend Andrew Jackson Middle in Lancaster County returned to school Tuesday after being out of class due to a fire that damaged the building last week.
The students are attending three neighboring schools as crews continue to clean up the middle school. Sixth grade students are being hosted at Heath Springs Elementary School, seventh-graders are attending to Kershaw Elementary School and eighth-graders are at Andrew Jackson High School.
According to the Lancaster County School District's website, crews of 100 people are working 10-hour shifts to repair and clean Andrew Jackson Middle School.
The fire broke out at Andrew Jackson Middle School on Kershaw Camden Highway around 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening.
According to Lancaster County Emergency Manager Darren Player, the fire started in a janitor's workroom. The fire was deemed accidental and fire officials believe the blaze started from a type of electrical tool. However, because there was so much damage, officials can't narrow the cause of the fire down to one tool.
Player says it could have started from an old electric clock, radio or a floor scrubber that included batteries and a charging unit. He says there were several wooden shelves and tables that fed the blaze.
The emergency manager says the fire was contained to the supply room, however, smoke and heat escaped into the adjacent cafeteria and hallway. Automatic smoke-activated doors throughout the building closed, stopping more potential damage.
The fire caused about $750,000 to $1 million in damage.
Lancaster County Schools spokesperson David Knight says insurance is covering the cost of repairs, but it is unclear whether school supplies and personal property will be covered as well.
People in the community have donated school supplies and money so that the students can have what they need.
You can find more information about students' lunches, medication and pick-up/d rop-off locations here.