This is the second time since the new school was built in 1964 that there has been a fire in the school. The first was in 1999, and this second one occurred on November 9, 2010. So, once again, all students and personnel will be moving to temporary locations.

It was 5:00 PM; LaVonne Guenther had just finished working with her after school tutoring program, and she and her students had just left the room. She closed and locked her door as she was now going to the Home Ec. room which was adjacent to hers. This room was being used as the Hospitality Room for the Regional Volleyball Tournament that was being hosted by the Lidgerwood Public School. She had gotten her food and sat down at a table to eat. She immediately noticed smoke coming from the corner of the room next to the ceiling. So she went out into the hall to go back to her English Room. Kevin Botchen, the head Janitor, had just opened the door as he was trying track down the source of some smoke lurking in the hallway. When the door was opened, they could not see the teacher's desk as the room was totally engulfed in heavy smoke. Kevin headed for a fire extinquisher, and LaVonne headed toward the gym to make sure that the fire doors were closed. Mark Wisnewski helped get people out of the building as some of the Volleyball Teams were already in the locker rooms, and concession workers were already preparing their items to sell. Some people were already in the gym waiting for the games to start at 6:00. A man from Oakes phoned in the 911 call at 5:11. All the people were quickly evacuated from the building without any problems.

Keven tried to put out the fire which was located in the northeast corner of the room. But as soon as he extinquished the flames, they fired back up again and again. He eventually had to give up the fight as he was breathing in a lot of smoke. The fire department arrived and set up on the west side of the school. They had trouble getting to the fire; as they tried to enter the room, they too found a lot of smoke accompanied by extremely high temperatures. They were forced to have only a few firefighters in the room at a time, and then they would switch to another set of firemen to water down the hot spots.

The fire was confined to the English Room and the Home Ec. Room, but tons of smoke rolled out into the hallway and found its way into the entire school, including the gym which was more protected by the firewall doors that automatically closed when the fire alarm was activated. Soot was deposited everywhere in the building, and it will have to be totally cleaned before school can be fully resumed.

After several meetings held at the Museum Community Center, a command center was set up at the Holy Cross church, and local places were contacted be be used for locations for holding the classes for grades K through 8 in Lidgerwood. The High School students will be bused to Wyndmere to attend classes taught by Lidgerwood staff in available rooms at the school.

School for Lidgerwood students resume on Thursday, the 18th.

Elementary Assignments & Sites in Lidgerwood

Kindergarten - Lorie Kuzel - St. Boniface

Grade 1 - Lindsey Stenson - St. Boniface

Grade 2 - Tammy Oster - St. Boniface

Grade 3 - Laurie Knaust - Holly Cross

Grade 4 - Alicia Reich - Holly Cross

Grade 5 - Brenda Oster - Fire Hall

Grade 6 - Tyler Butler - K.C. Hall

Grade 7 - Mary Roman - Bergen

Grade 8 - Melodie Novotny - Museum

Fire at the School