The cause of a fire that occurred at Fallsburg Elementary School on Saturday is still under investigation.

Fallsburg assistant fire chief Chris Jobe said the state fire marshall and arson investigators with the Kentucky State Police were at the school on Monday.

“I talked to (fire chief Paul Jobe) yesterday about the investigation and he talked like the KSP and fire marshall didn’t really tell him anything,” Jobe said.

Authorities said school sustained heavy smoke and heat damage as a result of the blaze that started sometime on Saturday in the classroom of Dana Moran, which is on the first-floor of the school. Passers-by noticed the flames and called 911. The Fallsburg Volunteer Fire Department, assisted by the Louisa and East Fork departments, responded to the call.

Lawrence County superintendent Jeff May, who said he received a phone call from grounds people at the school and rushed to the scene of the fire, was at the school on Monday during the investigation.

“When I heard about the fire I was shopping with my wife and we drove down to the school. At that point, the firefighters were trying to control hot spots,” he said.

Watching investigators at the school on Monday was like watching a “live version of CSI,” May said.

“It was amazing watching them got through picking up pieces and bagging them up,” he said. “They said they already knew that the fire had started as you come in door; in front center of the classroom.”

May said he was not aware of anyone being in the building after summer school, which he said concluded a

couple of weeks ago

“The classroom had been used throughout summer school. Now is when teachers get a little downtime and a chance to get away for a vacation,” May said.

Despite the damage, the superintendent — who recently returned back to work after suffering a TIA or “mini-stroke” — is optimistic that the 300 children that attend Fallsburg will be able to start school as planned during the second week of August.

A special meeting of the Lawrence County Board of Education was scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the situation. Items on the agenda included approval of “declaring an emergency situation” at the school, hiring an architect and approval of actions necessary to complete repairs.

SARAH LYNCH can be reached at (606) 326-2650 or

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