NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – A fire destroyed nearly half of a boarding school in North Brookfield Friday night.
At least one firefighter was injured while fighting that fire.
There were 25 students and 8 staff members inside, but they escaped safely.
The call came in just before 7:00 p.m. The fire started in the barn behind the school and quickly spread to the main building. Nearly 150 firefighters from all over Western and Central Mass came to help put out the blaze, which took them nearly five hours.
The building has been in North Brookfield for many years, but the part of the building that was damaged was just renovated in the last few years.
North Brookfield Fire Chief Brad Gannon told ABC 40 the main dormitory, cafeteria and stage were all destroyed.
Those displaced by the fire were sheltered in a separate building across the street and the American Red Cross provided relief and cots.
One firefighter suffered an injury after becoming overcome with smoke and was treated by paramedics on-scene.
By 11:00 p.m., most of the heavy fire had been knocked down, but smoke could still be seen billowing in air.
Crews continued to chase down hot spots and crews stayed on fire watch until around four Saturday morning.
It’s estimated that the fire damaged about 35 percent of the school, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Gannon said he doesn’t believe it to be suspicious.