Fire damages Westminster Charter School

Aug 6, 2013

School officials are highlighting the value of regularly-scheduled fire drills after 200 students and staff members were able to safely escape after a fire broke out Monday afternoon at Westminster Charter School.

Westminster Charter School on Bailey Avenue & Westminster damaged by fire
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

"They were able to evacuate the school incredibly quick," said Paul McDonnell, Director of Facilities for Buffalo Public Schools.

Westminster Charter School sustained $275,000 in fire damage Monday.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

"The fire was contained to one room. It's sort of a testament to how well these buildings were built," McDonnell said of the district-owned structure which dates back to the 1920s.

McDonnell believes fire drills allow students to become familiar with their surroundings, which helped make for an orderly evacuation.

Crews working to clear fire debris at Westminster Charter School. The fire caused $275000 in damage.
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

The fire was contained in the art room on the first floor of the three-story building. Damage was estimated at $275,000.

"We're working with M&T Bank. It's  new territory for us. M&T, they hold the charter and they operate  the school," McDonnell said.

"We're working with them to get the building open as quickly as possible."

Officials hope the school will be open for the first day of class on September 5.