CHARLESTON, W.V. (WVNS) – Faculty at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB) are preparing for students to return to campus next week after the destruction of key buildings due to a large fire.

The fire destroyed the Administration Building and the computer servers inside. The cause of the fire is still undetermined according to a statement released by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) led the investigation. The ATF also worked closely with the State Fire Marshal over the past week to uncover any details.

“This was more than a building to the school and the community, it was a part of the culture and tradition, and it is a significant loss to everyone. However, once again, I witnessed numerous examples of community pride and compassion. It was inspiring to see the response of so many agencies, organizations, community members and individuals from around the country who stepped into action and showed concern in a number of ways.”

State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch

The fire was reported during the early morning of Saturday, February 26, 2022. Servers that powered utilities including Internet, telephone service and security camera surveillance were all damaged in the fire. No injuries were reported in the fire. Students, who were away from campus and at their homes for their weekend break at the time of the fire, remained at home and were moved to remote learning this week.

“We will continue to work with our students and staff during this time of recovery. We are eager for our students to return to campus so that their school year and activities can continue. We are mindful that things will be different on campus right now, and we appreciate the teachers, administrators and staff who will be even more vigilant in addressing the needs of our children. We will be there to support them in these endeavors.”

West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) President Miller Hall

“The Governor’s Office, State Fire Marshals’ office, ATF, Frontier Communications, local fire departments and law enforcement, as well as many community members and individuals, are credited with their swift response. The WVBE and Department of Education sincerely appreciate the collaborative efforts involved,”

State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch

Additional social-emotional supports are in place for students, faculty and staff who may have been affected by the tragedy.