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The original item was published from 5/15/2019 2:30:00 PM to 6/15/2019 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: May 15, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Hunnewell School Fire: School Closed Until Monday, May 20

On Wednesday, May 15, at 7:30 AM, the Wellesley Fire and Police Departments were called to the Hunnewell School on Cameron Street for a report of a fire in the school.  At the time, there were no students in the building, only staff.  The Wellesley Fire Department extinguished the fire when they arrived.  However, the school was closed for the day for safety and for an evaluation of the building.  

Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.  The cause is being investigated by the Wellesley Fire Department, State Fire Marshal, and the Wellesley Police Department.  At this time the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature.  The school will remain closed until Monday, May 20, 2019 for cleanup.

Here is the latest on the fire and the school closure information from Dr. Lussier:

Dear Members of the Wellesley Community and Staff,

In the wake of today’s fire at the Hunnewell School, significant clean-up and damage assessment efforts are underway. The Fire Department’s determination at this time is that no specific cause could be identified. However, it appears likely that the fire was electrical in nature.

Before we can safely re-open the building, several important things need to happen. We are conducting tests of surfaces and air quality throughout the entire school to ensure that no potentially hazardous materials became airborne outside of the affected classrooms. We are also assessing all electrical, fire detection, and other building systems to ensure that nothing was compromised and that all of our systems are fully operational.

As each of these comprehensive steps will take time and after consulting with the many on-site experts at the scene, Hunnewell will remain closed until Monday, May 20th. If for any reason that date moves as a result of the testing and clean-up, we will communicate further details to the Hunnewell community.

I want to thank the Hunnewell staff, the Wellesley Police, Fire, and Facilities Management Departments for all of their efforts today as well as other Town leaders and departments who have supported our team in working through today’s events.

Dr. David Lussier

Superintendent of Schools

Previous Update Posted Earlier:

The following is a message from Dr. Lussier regarding the incident.  We will post additional information from Dr. Lussier later today as well.

Dr. Lussier:

I’m writing to provide an update on the situation at Hunnewell.   First, the fire that affected two classrooms has been extinguished and no one was harmed.  The Fire Department is investigating the cause, but does not believe it is suspicious in nature at this time.  The school department is working closely with the Police, Fire, and Facilities Management Department to develop a plan for the rest of the week, which we will communicate later today.  While we know there are many questions, we respectfully ask that community members stay clear of the Hunnewell school and playground area while the investigation and clean-up proceeds. 

Dr. David Lussier

Superintendent of Schools

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