Church fire puts schools in jeopardy - KCTV5

Church fire puts schools in jeopardy

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Update: The Willow Woods received its final inspection and will reopen on Tuesday. The school suffered smoke and water damage from the fire at a nearby church.

The fire that badly damaged the Westport Presbyterian Church last week could now prevent some children from going to school.

The Willow Woods day school is cleaning up after suffering heavy smoke and water damage from last week's blaze that tore through the historic Westport Presbyterian Church. Also, the City of Fountains Waldorf School was set to open their doors Thursday, but they are now looking for a new home.

"I make that we have a lot more work to do," said Katie Roos.

Roos is one of more than a dozen parents behind the City of Fountains Waldorf School. It was located on the second-floor of the church.

"It's definitely a collaborative effort that is growing," she said of the school.

Roos said a group of parents from all different backgrounds put their heads together to plant the roots for the one-of-a-kind waldorf-style school, a non-traditional educational system centered around the arts.

What remains of the space where they were supposed to hold classes is blown out windows and a non-existent roof.

Erin Nemenoff's child attends Willow Woods Day School which was located on the backside of the church.

"Over 90 percent of the interiors were damaged by smoke and water. Any surface like a wall or a curtain or a table top can be cleaned, but anything else absorbs the soot and so we need to basically throw everything away that isn't nailed down," said Nemenoff.

Willow Woods Day School is a not-for-profit organization and, with all the toys and school supplies they're having to throw away, Nemenoff said they need the public's help.

Click here to read about the Willow Woods Child Development Center and make a donation.  The school will re-open Thursday.

Anybody who'd like to help the City of Fountains can make checks payable to the City of Fountains School and drop them off at any Commerce Bank location. The school is looking for a new home.  Click here to view their Facebook page.

Firefighters said the church's fire started with the ignition of combustible materials during the installation of an air conditioning unit on its roof. It was ruled accidental.

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