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Lightning hits elementary school in Brandon


Published:   |   Updated: August 23, 2013 at 08:51 AM

TAMPA — Four classrooms were damaged at Mintz Elementary School in Brandon when lightning struck a classroom at the school on Thursday afternoon, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said.

One classroom sustained fire damage on the roof and water damage. Three additional classrooms sustained minor water damage from firefighters fighting the fire and heavy smoke, said Ronnie Rivera, a fire department spokesman. Water damage was also caused by rain, he said.

The school will open on Friday. On Thursday night, workers were already at the scene beginning classroom repairs, Rivera said.

“They might open these classrooms; they might not,” Rivera said. “It depends how fast they do the repairs.”

At 4:45 p.m. firefighters rushed to the school, located at 1510 Heather Lakes Blvd. in Brandon.

Lightning struck a PVC pipe on the roof of the classroom where the fire started. There were small flames, but there was a lot of smoke, Rivera said.

Firefighters cut the power to the classroom. To fight the fire and smoke, firefighters cut a hole on the roof of the classroom that sustained the lightning strike, Rivera said.

At the time of the fire, there was an active storm in the area of the school, Rivera said.

There were no students at the school at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

Hillsborough County schools, including Mintz Elementary, opened on Tuesday for the 2013-2014 school year.

jpatino@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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