- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2014

Police are investigating after a 6-alarm fire destroyed an elementary school in New Jersey Saturday night.

The blaze tore through James Monroe Elementary School in Edison around 7:45 p.m. and took firefighters more than three hours to get under control, WABC reported.

The school was completely destroyed and the roof collapsed. Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said the fire is being investigated as “suspicious,” because of how quickly the fire spread.

“It was amazing to watch how fast it was,” said parent Anne Winters, as families gathered around the school. “It was like all of a sudden it seemed like everything was going up. It was definitely a sight to behold.”

Twelve firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation, WABC reported. School officials are working to find an alternative location for the 500 students who attend James Monroe.

“This is just an absolute devastating tragedy for our school community. Words cannot say how awful this tragedy is,” said Edison Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley.

“It’s just very sad, I can’t even imagine,” teacher Lori Amaral told the station. “We spend our days doing things like fire drills. Thank God the kids weren’t there, but how do I even explain that? I’m sure all kids are going to be a little frightened.”

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