Crew clean up at Delta school after arson; classes could be out until next week

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Fire restoration crews are working at Delta High School Monday, Aug. 16, 2010 to get the school ready to open again after a fire in the school offices Friday. The fire damaged offices of the principal, secretary, counselor, nurse and the records room. Nearby classrooms also had smoke damage. (Fred Lynch)

At an empty Delta High School on Monday, fire restoration crews and electrical contractors were working to clean up damage caused by a fire that broke out in school offices Friday.

The Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department and the state fire marshal ruled that the fire was arson Friday and are still searching for the suspect.

Classes were not in session while crews were working.

Delta School Board president Herbert Blattel said the last he had heard, school wouldn't be back in session until early next week.

The Delta Fire Protection District responded to the high school shortly before 5:45 a.m. Friday after a teacher who came in early saw smoke in the building and called 911.

Offices of the secretary, counselor, superintendent and the school nurse sustained heavy smoke damage.

Lt. David James of the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department said Monday they were able to capture a still image off a school security camera video, but the image wasn't much help in getting a description of the suspect.

"If somebody thinks they recognize the person, that would be great, but there's not any detail at all," James said. "There's always potential problem makers in that area of the county, and we're checking to see what they were up to at the time of the fire."

Residents with information about the arson suspect are asked to call the sheriff's office at 243-3551 or the Missouri State Fire Marshal's Arson Hotline at 1-800-392-7766.

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

324 N. Liberty St., Delta, MO

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