2-alarm fire damaged multiple classrooms at McLane Middle School

Hillsborough County

BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – A two-alarm fire broke out overnight at McLane Middle School is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue received the call for the fire just after 11 p.m. Friday night.

“There was a storm in the area just prior to this and of course the fire did start on the roof or second story, it’s likely it was lightning, but we have not made that determination, it’s still under investigation,” said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue PIO Eric Seidel.

Fire officials tell News Channel 8 the roof of the building did collapse as well as significant water damage to the first floor of the building.

In a statement to News Channel 8, the Hillsborough County School District believes the building which had eight classrooms inside is a total loss.

“Our teams along with structural engineers will be evaluating the walls in the coming days to determine if there is any impact to nearby buildings.We believe we will be able to use the school and will work to move students to other parts of the campus when school starts in three weeks.”

Officials say it took crews about 30 minutes to get the flames under control. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Raneita Pitt went to McLane as a student and now her daughter is going to be an 8th grader there this year, she is hurt by the damage that’s been done because this school means so much to her.

“It means roots, it means community and hopefully whatever happens with the school, the community can come together and make sure everything gets fixed and put together the way it should be or even better,” said Raneita Pitt.

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