School consumed by 5-alarm fire "cannot be salvaged"
PARKSIDE - January 9, 2011 (WPVI) -- A fast-moving fire at a Philadelphia elementary school challenged firefighters early Sunday morning.
Crews responded to the 5100 block of Warren Street in the city's Parkside section just before 6:00 a.m. after a passing police officer noticed flames coming from the Global Leadership Academy Charter School.
The first arriving firefighters found flames shooting from the basement and quickly went to work battling the fire. Within less than two hours, the fire grew to 5-alarms.
Firefighters set up a collapse zone in the rear of the fire in case the walls fell.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries, but no one else was hurt.
There is no word on what sparked the blaze.
Officials say the blaze was so powerful, crews had to evacuate at one point, and the frigid temperatures didn't help.
"We had hard conditions out here, subfreezing weather, very slippery," Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said.
An update on the charter school's website says the school "cannot be salvaged" and that students should not report to classes before January 18th.
The building is owned by a nearby church, Greater Bible Way Temple, and serves close to 400 students grades K through 8.
"I'm literally in tears because the school is literally burning to the ground," Assistant Principal of Global Leadership Academy Tameka Evans.
The School District of Philadelphia has offered the site of former W.S. Peirce School at 2400 Christian Street as an option to serve temporarily as the new location for students of Global Leadership Academy Charter School due to the fire.
Police rerouted all traffic including SEPTA bus and trolley routes off of Lancaster Avenue in the area of the fire. Officials say Lancaster Avenue will remain closed for the rest of Sunday because of all the icing that's been created.
fire, west philadelphia, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state
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