Firefighter Injured in Union Terrace (PA) Elementary School Fire Is Home; Cause, Impact of Fire Still Unknown

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Peter Hall

The Morning Call


It’s too soon to tell whether the fire that destroyed two classroom trailers at Union Terrace Elementary School will have an impact on the first day of the school year, an Allentown School District spokesperson said.

The district canceled summer school classes Tuesday but will those will resume Wednesday, the district said in a statement.

Fire Capt. John Christopher said a firefighter who suffered heat exhaustion during the Monday afternoon blaze was treated and released and was resting at home Tuesday. Christopher said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

GoFundMe campaign to pay to replace the classroom decorations and supplies destroyed in the fire had raised $3,100 of its $8,000 goal Tuesday afternoon. Jason Boyko, the husband of one of the fourth-grade teachers whose classroom was destroyed, said in the appeal for donations that the teachers paid for many of the supplies themselves. Most of the students set to begin the school year in the burned classrooms were returning to school in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools across the state, Boyko wrote.

A neighbor of the school in the 1900 block of Union Street reported seeing a portable toilet and wooden steps adjacent to the classroom trailers on fire around 6 p.m. Firefighters arrived and found a wooden deck surrounding the structures engulfed in flames, Christopher said Monday.

Firefighters contained the fire to the trailers, which each house two classrooms. According to state data, about 700 students attend the school, which was built in 1955.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

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