Smoky roof fire on JCPS building quickly extinguished

Smoky roof fire on JCPS building quickly extinguished
The fire at the Westport Early Childhood Center was reported around 12:45 p.m., August 15. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A fire on the roof of a Jefferson County Public Schools building produced smoke that could be seen for miles.

Firefighters said a tar pot being used by roofers spilled starting the fire.
Firefighters said a tar pot being used by roofers spilled starting the fire. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

At 12:45 p.m., firefighters from St. Matthews and Anchorage-Middletown were dispatched to the Westport Early Childhood Center, located at 8800 Westport Road.

Assistant Chief David Howser of St. Matthews Fire Department said there was heavy fire when the first crews arrived. Firefighters found the fire was on the top layer of the five layer roof. A hand line was used to put the fire out.

A JCPS spokeswoman believes two or three classrooms may have suffered damage in teh fire.
A JCPS spokeswoman believes two or three classrooms may have suffered damage in teh fire. (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

Roofers were doing work on the building. Howser said a tar pot which was knocked over started the fire.

Toni Konz Tatman, a JCPS spokeswoman, said school building is begin converted into an early childhood education center. Work began in mid-March with full renovation underway since the school year ended in June.

Although this is the second day of the 2019-2020 school year, there were no classes in session at building, which was originally Westport Vocational School and later became the home of the Westport Teenage Parent Program. Renee Murphy, a JCPS spokeswoman, said the early childhood program doesn’t begin until next week.

No injuries were reported. Staff members were training off site.

The full extent of damage to the building, and whether it will delay the start of the early childhood program there, is unknown. Tatman believes two or three classrooms were affected by the firefighting efforts.

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