Classes cancelled at southeast Calgary high school after suspicious fire

In-person classes might have to be cancelled for the remainder of the year at a high school in Acadia in southeast Calgary after a suspicious fire damaged the building early Monday.

The fire caused extensive damage to some classrooms and there was smoke and water damage to the rest of Dr. Norman Bethune School, on 86th Avenue S.E., which is home to Foundations for the Future Charter Academy.

It appears to have been deliberately started in an outside storage area and then spread to the building’s exterior cladding, said the Calgary Fire Department’s west district chief, Ian Crosby.

Academy board chair Jeff Wilson said surveillance footage shows someone breaking into the storage area where the fire began at about 1:45 a.m.

Wilson said the academy’s 500 grade 9 to 12 students will likely switch to online learning in the meantime, but officials are looking for alternative in-person learning environments.

The exterior cladding was severely damaged and the interior of the school had smoke and water damage. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

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