Thoreau Fire Update

June 29, 2021

Dear Families:

The day was spent assessing and reviewing the situation at Thoreau following last night’s fire.  Below, I share the email from Principal Charles to the Thoreau community earlier tonight for everyone’s information since we now know that the impacted wing of the building will not be accessible in time for the start of school.

We also continue discussions with the Concord Fire Department as to the cause of the fire.  The State Fire Marshall was on site last night and an investigation is still in process.  It does appear that a heater installed in the attic for winter use to prevent the sprinklers from freezing may have been involved. In conjunction with the fire department, we will assess the other schools and any particular systems as well.

As appropriate, we will continue to share updates.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.




June 29, 2021

Dear Thoreau Families,

I am writing with an update on the fire which occurred last night in the 94 wing of the school. Dr. Hunter and I spent today at Thoreau working with folks from various town departments, facilities and water/fire restoration specialists and would like to provide an update on what we learned and next steps.

While the fire affected two classrooms significantly, the harm caused by the activation of the sprinkler system was far more impactful to the entire area. We learned today that the extensive water damage is what will be the biggest obstacle we will need to address before we are able to safely reopen the 9 impacted classrooms.  We are so grateful that the incident occurred with no students or staff present, classrooms had been packed away for the summer and that it happened so early in the summer.

The water remediation process began last night and will continue in the coming weeks. The next phase will include demo and rebuilding and, as we learned today, will take several months to complete. As this work gets underway we are actively exploring the relocation of the impacted classrooms for the fall and are confident we will be able to serve some of these homerooms in our building.  We are also exploring the utilization of classrooms at the Concord Middle School, sixth grade building, to handle the overflow.

While there is much to figure out in the coming weeks, please know that the safety and best interest of our students is the driver behind every decision we make.

I will provide updates in the coming days as I receive any new information.

Angel Charles