Firefighters put out a small fire Thursday afternoon at an abandoned school off Forest Avenue.

Damage was limited to one room of the former Thomas B. Reed Elementary School on Homestead Avenue, but Chief Robert Thompson said the fire will be investigated because the school has not been used for some time.

Asked whether it was suspicious, Thompson said it was too early to tell.

“I don’t even know the last time anyone was in here,” he said.

The school is still owned by the city and is on the municipal alarm system, so officials were alerted immediately. Thompson said power was still connected at the school and the sprinklers went off but the water didn’t reach the fire so crews had to enter the building to extinguish the flames.

The Reed School, originally built in the 1920s, has been vacant for years. It was most recently used as a centralized kitchen for the school department.

In September, the city approved plans to renovate the building into a preschool for children with special needs. An earlier proposal to turn it into senior housing met resistance and was abandoned.


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