Weather Updates

Fire cancels classes at South Side school

Updated: October 7, 2013 3:25PM

Classes were canceled Monday at Oglesby Elementary School after a small fire damaged a third-floor classroom, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said.

No one was injured in the fire at the school, 7646 S. Green, but smoke and water damage forced school officials to cancel classes just as students began to arrive for the day, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

Heavy smoke poured from a single classroom when firefighters arrived, but they extinguished the blaze in about 20 minutes, he said.

Students had not yet arrived for the day when the fire broke out, but some school staff was in the four-story, red brick building, the fire department said.

“The babies were not here, thank God,” said Angela Lampkin, an Oglesby teacher who arrived to see firefighters surrounding the school.

Lampkin said there’s never been a fire at the school in her 17 years there, but “we’ve have plenty of fire drills.”

Parents on Oglesby’s local school council spent the morning notifying other parents about the closure. The dozen or so students who showed up were “provided meals today and a safe, comfortable environment, but school was cancelled for the day,” according to CPS.

Oglesby was expected to re-open Tuesday, pending the outcome of the investigation of the fire — the cause of which remained unclear, CPS officials said.

As parents pulled up to drop off their kids, some were stunned to learn about the fire — and very grateful their children weren’t inside at the time.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.