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Fire guts 100-y-o building at Munro College

Published:Friday | December 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM
The building which housed the staffroom at Munro College was gutted by fire early yesterday. - Photo by george henry

George Henry, Gleaner Writer

MALVERN, St Elizabeth:

The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) records and documentation system, as well as sports records systems, at Munro College in St Elizabeth, suffered a serious blow yesterday morning after the building which housed the staffroom at that institution was gutted by fire of unknown origin.

At the same time, the Busta Under-14 rural-area football crown which the school lifted this week also fell victim to the blaze.

Branford Gayle, the school principal, told The Gleaner that he got a call about 1 a.m. on Thursday from security personnel that the staffroom was on fire. He said that when he got to the scene, he saw the building engulfed in flames.

"Shortly after that, the fire brigade came about 1:20 and did what they could, but nothing could have been saved. Everything in the staffroom was lost, including registers, grade books, examination records and a lot of teachers' stuff and a couple of computers. There was also a sixth-form office there as well," said Gayle.

He said the destroyed building has been at Munro for more than 100 years. No one was injured in the blaze.

Cxc certificates destroyed

Meanwhile, Paula Miller-Foster, the academic staff member who has responsibility for CXC documentation at the school, told The Gleaner that the fire destroyed students' certificates and other important documents.

"There were quite a number of CXC stuff destroyed, including certificates, documentation records, books and CXC stationery which were all locked in the filing cabinets," Miller-Foster said.

Miller-Foster said materials belonging to the various classes were razed by the fire. She explained that as far as her work with the CXC programme at the school was concerned, she would have to start from scratch to see how best to deal with the records which had been destroyed.

Meanwhile, sports master at the school, Neil Harrison, said the sports programme has been hard-hit in the blaze.

"All documentation regarding (Boys') Champs, daCosta Cup, everything which has to do with sports is all gone. This also includes equipment, you name it; they are all gone," said Harrison.

In the meantime, Gayle said efforts would be made to find a temporary staffroom for his teachers.