Students return to school after fire

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Kids are back inside an Albuquerque elementary school despite a fire that left major smoke and water damage.

Part of Chaparral Elementary burned Saturday, but the district says most everything there is back to normal now.

APS says clean-up crews worked from Saturday afternoon straight through until Monday morning to get the school ready.

The fire, which may have been electrical, started in this cafeteria store-room. It set off sprinklers and spread water and smoke through-out a main hallway and classrooms.

Hallways here were blanketed with fans drying and purifying the air Sunday.

Monday morning, all of that equipment was gone, floors were cleaned up and everything is open.

That includes the cafeteria, part of which actually burned in the fire.

APS still has some repair work to do in some areas, but it says for the most part kids should be unaffected.

“Does not have any sign of a fire or anything and i think that’s the most important thing is that the kids are seeing that in, traumatized, the main thing is that kids are back in class this morning without a miss or hour of classroom time” John Dufay, APS operations director, said.

APS says Chaparral Elementary’s kitchen is the only thing closed at the school right now.

For now they’re getting cold lunches bussed in. They’re hoping to come up with a plan sometime this week to serve hot meals to kids for the rest of the year.

The district says the fire caused at least $185,000 of damage, some of which will be covered by insurance.

The cause is still under investigation.

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