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 Glynn County Fire Department - Protectors of Life and Property Since 1952



Glynn Academy building burns

By: MELISSA DONLEY / The Brunswick News

August 19, 2005


Firefighters on the ground battle the blaze at the Glynn Academy Annex at about 7:30 a.m. Friday. (Ivana Popovic/The Brunswick News)

Classes canceled; damage to annex severe

Glynn County school officials planned an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss what to do about the Glynn Academy Annex building that was heavily damaged by fire earlier in the day.

The fire in the building at Mansfield and Albany streets started overnight, possibly by a lightning strike, while no students were present and ignited before the school day began, fire officials said.  

Brunswick firefighters were among the first to notice flames shooting from the roof of the building, used as a freshman center, at about 5:30 a.m. Friday after smoke surrounded their station nearby on Gloucester Street, downtown.

All classes on the Glynn Academy campus were canceled Friday, but will resume Monday, said Delacy Sanford, Glynn County schools assistant superintendent of administrative services.

Brunswick firefighters, who do not have an aerial truck, initially called for help from Glynn County firefighters and their ladder truck.

A group of city and county firefighters, led by Brunswick Chief Lee Stewart, went to the building's second story, but were called back by the sound of an emergency horn to warn them that flames had jumped from the roof.

"We couldn't see what they could (outside the building)," Stewart said. "It was a smart move (to evacuate)."

No injuries were reported during the fire that was thought to have begun at about 2 a.m. in the attic of the building. Heavy rain and lightning moved over the mainland and St. Simons Island Thursday, beginning at about 6:45 p.m.

Firefighters had flames under control at the building constructed in 1889 by about 7 a.m. and remained at the school all morning.

The Albany Street side of the building, a structure made of heart pine wood and brick, began to crumble from the top after several hours of firefighting.

Police backed up the crowd of onlookers that had assembled on campus, fearful that the side of the two-story building would collapse. Water from firefighting hoses could be seen pouring out of the bricks and mortar.

The flames coming out of the roof caused major damage to the interior and exterior of the building.

Glynn County school board Chair LaVerne Cooper, who watched firefighters battle the blaze, said she arrived to the school as soon as she heard about the fire.

"Flames were just leaping up to the sky," Cooper said. "It really burned."

Cooper called an emergency meeting at the board's Egmont Street office for 4 p.m. Friday to discuss insurance and other issues related to the fire.

Glynn Academy Principal Joseph Barrow said the building contained student lockers and some staff members' personal belongings.

State inspectors will be brought in to assess the interior damage.

Glynn Academy has an enrollment of 1,685 students, which includes 513 ninth graders.


The Brunswick News: "Brunswick News Photo Gallery: Glynn Academy Fire"

Florida Times Union: "Fire at historic Glynn Academy", "Alumni take on Academy fire: rebuild"

News4Jax.com: "Fire Damages Historic Building At Glynn Academy"

First Coast News: "Fire Tears Through Historic School Building"

GCFD Photo Album:  "Glynn Academy Fire"


 As published in the August 19, 2005, The Brunswick News


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