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Edison Schools Try to Find Temporary Location for Displaced Students

Burned out James Monnoe Elementary School in Edison
Burned out James Monnoe Elementary School in Edison (CBS New York)

As Edison Public School officials try to find a temporary location for James Monroe Elementary School students in Edison after a fire destroyed the school reports say a cigarette may to blame for starting the blaze.

Broken windows at the burned out James Monnoe Elementary School in Edison
Broken windows at the burned out James Monnoe Elementary School in Edison (CBS New York)

News 12 New Jersey reports that a cigarette discarded by a custodian may be to blame for the 6-alarm fire on Saturday night.

Monroe students will resume classes on Wednesday at Middlesex Community College. Details will be revealed at a meeting and press conference on Monday night at Edison High School. MCC spokesman Tom Peterson told MyCentralJersey.com students will make use of two empty buildings on campus slated for demolition, South 1 and South 2.

In a message posted Sunday on the Edison Township Public School website, Board of Education President Gene I. Maeroff wrote about the problem of relocating the Monroe students. “We all know that Edison’s schools are severely overcrowded and finding space for the displaced students will not be easy. But all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the education of the students is disrupted to the least extent.

He told that Star-Ledger that the district’s priority is to keep the school’s 500 students together. “We will probably end up with something temporary and then working on something long-term,” he told the newspaper. One solution could be the closed St. Cecelia’s school in Woodbridge. “We’re always open to the consideration of this, because we’ve done it successfully in the past,” spokesperson Erin Friedlander told the Star-Ledger.

Middlesex County and state arson investigators are on site investigating what caused the 6-alarm fire at the 50-year-old school is underway. Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan  describes the fire to the Star-Ledger as “suspicious.” MyCentralJersey.com reports that the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the blaze as possible arson.

Edison Township Deputy Fire Chief Frank Imbriacco would not confirm to ABC 7 reports of people seen running from the school. The school does have surveillance cameras but police would not say what they show related to the fire.

The school is equipped with smoke and fire detectors but not a sprinkler system as they were not required when the school was built in 1963 according to the Star-Ledger.

Counseling will be available for Edison students at their respective schools and for James Madison students, staff and the community at the Education Center located at 312 Pierson Avenue in Edison.

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