Bowmore Road school closed this week, students learning virtually, as cleanup after fire on second floor continues

Toronto firefighters were called to Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School on the morning of Thursday, May 4. Photo by Alan Shackleton.

Students from Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School will be learning virtually this week as the school remains closed while the damage from a fire in a classroom last week is cleaned up.

The fire, which broke out in a classroom on the second floor on the morning of Thursday, May 4, caused “significant smoke and water damage” to the school’s junior building, according to a letter sent home to parents by principal Heather Groves last Friday.

The Toronto District School Board provided Beach Metro Community News with a copy of the letter on Monday, May 8.

Bowmore school is located at 80 Bowmore Rd., east of Coxwell Avenue and just south of Gerrard Street East.

Along with the damage to the second floor of the junior building, the first floor also requires enhanced cleaning said the principal’s letter.

“While the senior building was relatively unimpacted, due to the interconnectedness of our school community’s scheduling and staffing, we have made the difficult decision to switch to virtual learning for the week of May 8 to 12,” wrote Groves. “This week will give TDSB Facilities staff and contractors the time needed to complete enhanced cleaning and ensure air quality levels are acceptable for a return to in-person learning.”

Today (Monday, May 8), was a transition day for students who will begin virtual learning tomorrow.

On Monday, parents and students were given an opportunity to retrieve personal belongings from the school under a schedule in which they would be met at the doors by teachers.

Students had to evacuate the building at approximately 11 a.m. on May 4, once the fire alarms sounded, and had not been able to get back into the building since.

Unfortunately, students who had classes on the second floor near where the fire started are unable to retrieve materials from their classroom. “We will provide an update later this coming week for these families,” wrote Groves.

In the letter, Groves said the school staff was hoping to be back in the building next Monday.

“We look forward to returning to our school when it is safe and clean on Monday, May 15,” she wrote.

While Toronto Fire Services is still investigating and has not released an official cause of the fire, it is believed to have started in an electric fan in one of the classrooms.

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