In East Anchorage, neighbors help clean up classroom damaged by fire


“I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of everybody,” Helgeson stated on Tuesday at School Gate Elementary Faculty. “I’m completely shocked.”

The day earlier than, individuals began to point out up on the East Anchorage faculty asking how they might assist, she stated. Some had rags to assist clear the soot from the classroom’s counters and cabinets. Others sorted via piles of classroom provides together with books, papers and paintings that have been drenched when the hearth triggered the room’s sprinkler system.

The volunteer clear-up group included a few of Helgeson’s college students and their mother and father, in addition to colleagues, household and buddies. A couple of individuals who reside close by and who do not have youngsters on the faculty additionally stopped by, asking what they might do.

“It was simply phenomenal,” stated Helgeson, who has taught on the faculty for about eleven years.

Helgeson stated she had one household supply to take house the classroom’s stuffed animals and pillows to attempt to clear them, and fourth-grade academics within the district despatched her emails asking what provides they might ship her method. Another person began a web-based fundraising web page to assist exchange broken gadgets within the classroom. It had raised greater than $three,500 by Tuesday night.

“School Gate is a tremendous group; it truly is,” Helgeson stated.

School Gate Elementary sits close to the intersection of East Northern Lights Boulevard and Boniface Parkway.

The Anchorage Faculty District estimates the hearth induced about $50,000 in injury, in line with district spokeswoman Catherine Esary. Helgeson stated a flare was put in her classroom and caught hearth. The water from the sprinkler system broken a number of different lecture rooms and a standard space.

The district’s insurance coverage will cowl a lot of the damages, Esary stated, nevertheless it’s unclear if it’s going to cowl the scholars’ private gadgets.

Helgeson has 28 college students in her class. Within the hearth, some college students misplaced sneakers saved within the room for health club, winter boots, binders, notebooks and extra.

The hearth that began in her classroom, on the nook of the constructing, remained beneath investigation Tuesday, in line with the Anchorage Hearth Division.

A 911 caller reported the flames round 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The hearth division stated the reason for the hearth was “suspicious in nature,” however Cleo Hill, Anchorage hearth marshal, declined to say extra, citing the continued investigation.

On Tuesday, Helgeson’s classroom was empty apart from a number of tables and chairs. The partitions have been streaked black. A damaged window was…



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