Fireworks sparks fire at Govalle Elementary

Monday was no holiday for this crew cleaning up charred debris left in the Govalle Elementary school parking lot.

Along with burned roofing material,  spent fireworks could also be seen scattered in the parking lot. It’s believed sparks fell into the stacks of construction material igniting the fire. The school is in the middle of a $2 million summer renovation and the fire destroyed a lot of the material that was brought in for that work.

Property damage is estimated at $35,000. At least one school security camera is located next to the parking lot.

" I’m sure the cameras are operational, you know when you move around the cameras are operational, so we will go and see if there is anything on our cameras,” said AISD Interim Director for Maintenance Louis Zachary.

AFD posted pictures moments after they arrived on the scene early Monday morning. Ironically the flames were knocked down by a ladder truck which has sections painted red white and blue. A toxic smoke moved toward several homes Jenifer Arnton grabbed her kids and left.

"It was very smoky, and it smelled really bad, it was kind-a plastic-ie"

Arnton went on to say it’s not unusual for the school parking lot to be used for fireworks.

"I heard there were ... there were people launching things Saturday and Sunday,” said Arnton.

Residents and school officials are thankful the fire did not get in to the main school building. But they are sad this mural behind has been damaged. I'm told it was painted several years ago as part of a community project. A similar effort may now be needed to restore it.

The flames made the paint turn black and bubble up in spots. The mural is on a building where an art studio and video production house are located. Monty Muir, his brother owns the production house, said fire crews broke through one the front door to check for hot spots.

"No, no damage inside, a little bit of water, broken lock, that’s about it," said Muir.

As the search continues for those responsible for the fire, AFD issued another reminder that fireworks, in town, are illegal. The short list what is allowed includes; sparklers, smoke bombs, poppers, snappers, glow worms and snakes.

The fine for violating the city fireworks ordinance is $568. Complaints, according to AFD should be made by calling the city 311 service center and not 911.

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