Cause of Keith fire determined

Published 9:45 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

After a blazing fire engulfed one of the band rooms at Keith High School last week, officials determined the cause of the fire.

First-year principal of Keith, Lou Ella Guthridge said she was told by the state fire marshal that the fire was sparked by an electrical shortage.

“The adjuster came out this week and they are supposed to come back on Monday, it’s a slow process,” Guthridge said about the insurance filing.

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No plans are official as of yet for any fundraising to help restore the band’s instruments that were mostly melted and damaged in the flames.

“Anyone who would like to contribute donations or instruments we would be more than happy to accept them,” Guthridge said.

The fire came less than a year after the Keith High School Parent Teacher Organization raised money for band instruments.

“A bunch of the things in the storage room that caught on fire we are still identifying,” Don Willingham, Assistant Superintendant, said Monday following the fire. “Some of the staff are coming in to kind of re-inventory what is missing and what is damaged.”

Though some faculty and staff have helped with the cleaning process, the Dallas County School System website says they are currently searching to hire a new band director following the resignation of the current band director. Guthridge said director Marcus Rackley announced his decision to leave prior to the fire.

School administrators said that they want to reiterate that the fire will not hinder school starting on Aug.20.

“This will in no way interrupt our opening day of school and school will open and all is well,” Guthridge said. “I appreciate all of those who have called with concerns about the fire.”