Roof peeled off, fire extinguished at high school as Blountsville rebuilds

BLOUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — After more than two days of burning, the fire in the roofing system of J.B. Pennington High School is finally out.

Cranes came in to peel off the metal roof on Thursday, piece by piece. It was the only way firefighters could get to the blaze itself.

“Firefighting is a challenge anyway, and no two fires are the same. This one, it’s a little unique in the height and the set back from the road and the alley,” said Arthur Willis, Oneonta Fire Chief.

His was one of multiple fire departments that came to aid Blountsville Volunteer Fire Department, which remained on the scene from Tuesday morning.

Firefighters faced obstacles when putting out the fire, from limited access to the alleyway to high winds at different points of the day.

“Wind has an impact, not only for the fire itself because it feeds the fire, but also when they take off each one of the sections of roofing off, it becomes a hazard in itself, trying to lower it to the ground,” Willis said.

By Thursday night, the roof had been taken off the building and the fire completely extinguished. From here, investigators will try to determine what sparked the fire. Multiple funds have been set up to try to speed the rebuilding process. The high school students will attend class in temporary mobile classrooms until the end of the year.



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