Classes Cancelled At Cameron High After School Goes Up In Flames

CAMERON (KFSM) -- Classes at Cameron High School have been cancelled Wednesday (Aug. 30) after the building went up in flames.

LeFlore County EMS Director Jeff Fishel said the fire started around 8:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

Several crews were on scene battling the flames including Pocola Fire Department, LeFlore County Sheriff's Office, Poteau Fire Department and the Pocola Police Department.

Poteau's Fire Chief said it took about an hour and a half for crews to contain the fire, and they were containing hot spots until nearly 4 a.m.

"We'll be able to be back in school at least by the end of next week," said Jim Caughern, Cameron Superintendent. "We can house students, we just need to get the internet service back and for the fire marshal to say the building is safe for students and teachers to enter."

"It's going to take some time," said Rick Ward, school board president. "We are going to make it. No doubt on that. Just going to take some time getting everything back together."

Investigators said they believe the fire started near the principal's office at the front of the building. Crews said the administration building and the gym are a complete loss, and a lot of memorabilia was lost in the flames.

Firefighters said no one was injured, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Inside of the Community Center building, memorabilia, trophies, jerseys and pictures that could be saved from the gym before it went up in flames is laid out across the floor.

"Probably 40 years of trophy's that we have won," Ward said. "They were in the main lobby of the school at the end of the gymnasium. We got the call from the fireman last night that if we wanted them we needed to  try to get them. We went through and salvaged this much of it. We left probably 40 to 50 plaques on the wall."

However, school officials weren't able to save them all.

"We keep the trophies stored," said Roy Butler, a teacher at the school for 22 years. "We probably lost hundreds of them underneath the bleachers. Maybe four hundred."

Among the memorabilia salvaged is a jersey wore by Kevin Lomon, who played with the Atlanta Braves, and a jersey worn by Rodney Nye, who played with the Mets.

Along the school's hallway are graduating class pictures dating back to the 1930s. The pictures were destroyed in the fire.