Fire causes extensive damage to Strawberry Vale Elementary roof

Saanich fire inspectors are investigating after an early morning fire at an elementary school.

The Saanich Fire Department received a call about 4 a.m. Saturday about a fire at Strawberry Vale Elementary, said platoon captain Mitch Williams.

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Crews arrived to find smoke and flames coming from the school’s roof.

It took 20 firefighters a couple of hours to extinguish the “stubborn” fire, because the school’s unusual roof structure made the blaze more challenging to suppress, Williams said.

“It took a bit of work to get into the areas that were kind of hidden and open them to make sure that it was fully extinguished,” he said.

The fire caused extensive damage to the school’s roof and interior.

Williams said he couldn’t speculate on the cost of the damage, but it would be enough to close the school if the fire had happened during the school year.

“The sprinkler systems had gone on in the school and there was lots of water damage and fire damage. The skylights burnt out, and there’s some holes through the roof, so yeah there wouldn’t be any school, for sure,” he said.

No one was injured in the blaze.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

An inspector remained at the scene Saturday, and an investigation is underway.

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