WACO, Texas — Waco’s G.W. Carver Middle School caught on fire a round 1:00 AM Tuesday, and continued to smolder hours later as firefighters monitored the situation.
“We all walked up to the corner and just watched it burn,” says school secretary Sandra.
Fire Marshal Office’s Keith Guillory said it took crews about six hours to get the flames out, but the building was still smoking way past that.
“We had a total of 30 firefighters that were on scene,” Guillory said. “We had 15 units, six engine street trucks, two battalion vehicles, EMS, and also our Fire Core was on scene for rehab purposes for our fire crews. There were no injuries reported for firefighters or citizens on this call.”
For many, it was a difficult situation – but for Sandra, it was so much worse – as her family has multiple ties to the school.
“Daddy was hired to teach agriculture when Carver first opened. He was one of the first teachers ever hired,” she said. “My mom was the school secretary, and my older sister and I went there. I went from the third grade through twelfth grade, and graduated there.”
Sandra told FOX 44 that despite the heartbreaking scene at the school Tuesday morning, nothing will beat down the Panther spirit, and they will continue to be a family – with or without a building.
“When Dr. Carrier would get on the P.A. system and make announcements, he would say, ‘Good morning, Panther Family!’ Because we’re family,” she said. “He did a call out this morning so that we heard a message from him, and he said it wasn’t the building that made us the Panther Family. It’s the people. And we are still family. We will survive this.”
“There is hope,” she added. “Carver will be rebuilt. It will be built better. And we will always be committed to Panther excellence.”
The source of the fire is still unknown, and crews are still at the scene.