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Fire causes minor damage to school roof

LAURIE EVERETT Mt. Juliet News Managing Editor • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM

MT. JULIET – Firefighters doused a rooftop blaze early Thursday morning at Rutland Elementary School.

Three fire stations responded to the fire just after 6 a.m.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency Lt. Eric Eldrige said smoke and flames were coming from a section of roof under construction.

"When we got there, we saw a 6-foot-by-7-foot section of the roof on fire," he said. "We laddered onto the roof to put it out. We used water extinguishers."

Eldridge said the fire started in a toolbox on top of a trailer on the roof workers were in the process of replacing.

"It appears something caught on fire in the toolbox," said Elridge. "Maybe it was a hot tool or something. We are not sure at this point."

Firefighters extinguished the fire in about eight minutes, but crews remained until about 9:30 a.m. to make sure no hot spots reignited.

Eldridge said the fire left a hole burned through the section of roof.

"We could see the gymnasium floor," he said.

Fire crews took measures to make sure water didn’t damage the gym floor. They put the burning roof material into containers and then doused it.

Though Wilson County students are out for fall break, some children are taking intersession courses at the school.

A handful of students and faculty evacuated the school, but no one was hurt.

The school didn’t sustain any structural damage.

Mt. Juliet News Managing Editor Laurie Everett may be reached at 615-754-6397 or mtjulietnews@tds.net.

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