Walla Walla city fire chief Bob Yancey directs firefighters at the front entryway during Monday's basement fire at Blue Ridge Elementary.
WALLA WALLA — It may take investigators until this afternoon or Tuesday to determine the cause of a fire that broke out in the basement of Blue Ridge Elementary School this morning, according to Walla Walla Fire Chief Bob Yancey.
Fire crews from the Walla Walla and College Place fire departments and Fire District 4 responded at roughly 8:20 this morning to a report of a fire in the school basement.
“We had the fire under control in about 20 to 30 minutes,” Yancey said, adding school employees were in the building when the fire broke out, Yancey said.
“We were not fully staffed,” Mark Higgins, spokesman for the Walla Walla School District said. Schools in the district opened to begin preparing for the start of school, he said.
Higgins said the district hopes to have Blue Ridge Elementary cleaned up for the first day of school, Sept. 4.
“We have a real mess,” Higgins said, citing smoke and water damage to the basement and cafeteria areas. “We’re just thankful nobody was hurt. The district really wants to thank area fire crews for their speedy response.”
Registration and school preparation operations have been moved to the district transportation offices at 1162 Entley St., according to Higgins. The new phone number for registration at Blue Ridge is 527-3019.
Luke Hegdal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8326.