Around The Clock Cleanup

After smoke and soot damage, each locker is getting cleaned inside and out.

150 workers from two cleaning companies are working 20-hour days to try to get the school back up and running by January 12.

School and Shelton city officials gave the media a tour of the damaged areas Wednesday night.

"You're very close to the area where the fire was, so all these tiles were quite dirty and they're being taken down and replaced," said Superintendent Robin Willink.

The fire marshal says the fire was sparked by a lit cigarette in a waste basket.

The damage it left behind is extensive.

The smell of smoke still fills second and third floor hallways.

All seven miles of air ducts that weave throughout the high school are being cleaned.

School officials would not show the storage facility where the fire started. They said heavy equipment was being used to remove and replace a beam that was damaged in the blaze.

But the tour did include a stop in an adjacent business classroom. Computer used to line the walls. They all had to be thrown out and the tile floor will be replaced.

In the school's library media center, the shelves are empty. The books were damaged by soot and had to be sent out to be cleaned.

"They're being boxed and stored offsite, " said Beth Smith, the school's headmaster. "Then they'll be moved back in once we've cleaned the library media center, which we know will not be open when school starts."

School officials wouldn't answer questions about capped smoke detectors, windowless classrooms and other fire code violations found by the state fire marshal.

"Honestly tonight we're focusing on this fire, what happened Dec. 30th and how we've recovered from that," Superintendent Robin Willink said.

School officials say the cleaning is on schedule and the school should reopen Jan. 12th. They did not have an estimate as to how much the restoration would cost.

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