Art building at Aiken school burns down

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - Mead Hall Episcopal School is picking up the pieces after a fire ravaged the art cottage.

The school said it is a setback, but with the support of the community, they're hoping to move forward.

"The place is a complete loss," said Kitty Gordon, Head of School. "It was just fully engulfed in flames. There was no saving it."

Gordon was startled in the middle of the night by a shocking phone call: Aiken Public Safety officers informed her Mead Hall Episcopal's art cottage was in a blaze.

"Our officers on patrol actually noticed the fire, so they called it in themselves," said Capt. David Turno, with ADPS. "They actually buckered out in their own gear, and started fighting the fire as soon as the trucks got there."

Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but student body president Julian Wilson said dozens of pieces of artwork made by advanced placement students were lost in the inferno.

"We've lost a lot of work," said Wilson. "It's terrible this happens halfway through the year, whenever students have deadlines to meet."

And those deadlines still stand; but Gordon said, the students are vowing to push on.

"They've determined they will start anew, and try and get those projects done, and meet their deadlines," she said. "So we'll do everything we can to support them."

Students and faculty agree: if there was anywhere for a setback like this to happen, Mead Hall was the place.

"We just hate that this happened, and it's devastating, but we'll recover from it," said Wilson. "We'll bounce back. And we'll move forward."

Fire officials said the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

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