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Fire forces closure of McKenzie School Monday, GHS gym floods

A small fire at McKenzie School on Saturday has forced the cancellation of classes on Monday, according to Interim Superintendent Joseph Dean.

Dean said the fire apparently started from a faulty electrical panel near the back of the school’s new library addition inside the main building.

“It was a small fire that did a minimal amount of damage,” said Dean. “There was some damage to the external wall.”

The fire also knocked out power to the school, said Dean, although workers were able to restore power to some areas inside.

“We’re going to go ahead and close school tomorrow because we want to make sure everything is running okay before students return,” said Dean.

Saturday’s fire wasn’t the only problem Dean and the school system is dealing with: Greenville High School’s fire extinguishing system inside the school’s gymnasium discharged at some point and caused flooding. The arctic temperatures experienced in Butler County over the weekend was the likely culprit, said Dean. He said the system inside the gym is a “wet” system, with water inside the pipes at all times.

“We think the water froze inside the pipes and when the temperatures got warmer the system was set off,” he said. “I want to especially thank the Greenville Fire Department who stayed out there and helped us get the water out of the gym.”

No other area of the school was affected, said Dean, and the school will open on Monday as scheduled.

Dean had no estimate as to how much the damages were going to cost at each school. The main concern at GHS, he said, is the gymnasium floor.

He said high school basketball games will have to be moved to Greenville Middle School if the damage is substantial.