Fire damages Sidney Lanier Center

A fire at the Sidney Lanier Center in Gainesville on Friday afternoon remains under investigation.

According to Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) deputy chief Joseph Hillhouse, GFR crews were notified at 3:49 p.m. that the school located at 312 NW 16th Ave. was on fire.

Fire crews arrived on the scene within four minutes and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves and the roof of the building, according to reports.

Incident Commander Don Campbell said the fire was made more complex by the presence of a double ceiling in the building of origin.

“This concealed the smoke allowing the fire to grow before being noticed,” a GFR release stated. 

GFR crews were able to quickly ventilate the roof above the fire, which stopped the spread and held the blaze in place until fire attack crews could fully extinguish the flames.

Sidney Lanier Center damage

In total, GFR reported that 10 fire apparatus were assigned to the call. No one was injured in the fire, which is under investigation.

The Sidney Lanier Center offers continuous educational programs for students ranging from kindergarten through transition at age 22. According to GFR, the center is the only public school in the Alachua County Public Schools district with that grade configuration.

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