Fire damages abandoned Guilford County elementary school

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Firefighters are working to figure out how an abandoned school caught on fire this morning.

Investigators believe the fire started in the cafeteria and library area of the school.

“It was boarded up so that leads to the investigation piece of, is there power on in the building or not,” said Jim Robinson, Greensboro’s fire chief.

Investigators are working to determine if someone inside caused the fire.

The damage is pushing district leaders to speed up the school’s improvement plan.

“We are actually going to be accelerating the demolition of the school which was previously slated for 2022,” said Michelle Reed, chief operations officer for Guilford County Schools.

Reed expects construction crews to start tearing the school apart in the next few weeks.

Peeler Elementary is one of 13 schools in the district’s master facilities plan to remodel and re-open.

It’s been vacant since 2018 when a tornado damaged the building so badly it was no longer safe for learning.

“This is part of our 2020 capital bond project so Peeler had planning to be a visual and performing arts school,” Reed said.

No one was hurt in Thursday’s fire. A spokesperson for the Greensboro Fire Department says he anticipates a handful of investigators will be back at the site on Friday.

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