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Smoke damage in school copy room reported

A copy room at Kahului Elementary School sustained “major smoke damage,” possibly caused by a malfunctioning electrical appliance Friday morning, fire officials said.

The incident has been ruled accidental. Fire officials said no dollar estimates of damage was available Friday afternoon.

A Kahului fire crew responded to a 5:48 a.m. Friday alarm and found a copy room with major smoke damage but no fire, fire officials said. Fire investigators were called to assist with determining a possible cause.

In a letter to parents and guardians, temporary Principal Jo-Anne Higa said there was a small fire Thursday night in a copy room in the school’s main office building. When staff arrived at 5:20 a.m., there was evidence of smoke damage but no fire. There was no impact to the school’s operations Friday, and no changes are anticipated to the school schedule, she said.

With the school suffering major fires in the recent past, concerns in the school community were heightened, especially in social media.

Kahului Elementary School’s PTSA Facebook page said that there was a lot of “hearsay” on social media and to be “patient and kind.”

“No one is hurt and business as usual,” a post on the page said.

The school sustained damage from two major fires in the past that burned classrooms.

On Nov. 24, 2017, an intentionally set fire destroyed the four-classroom F Building and damaged two portable classrooms and waterlines. The school was closed for more than a week. The fire caused an estimated $1.2 million in damage.

In April 2010, G Building at the school was destroyed. Fire officials estimated damage of at least $500,000.