NEWS

Some Danforth Tech students won't return until fall

05/02/2012 02:16 EDT | Updated 07/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Some students at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute in Toronto's east end won't be able to return for classes until the next school year as work continues to restore rooms that were damaged by a suspected arson fire.

There is extensive water and smoke damage in some parts of the school, said the Toronto District School Board superintendent for the area, Michael Gallagher. About 45 of the school's 70 classrooms should reopen by Monday.

But it could take much longer to open up the rest of the classrooms.

"As we clean more rooms, we'll have to reassess to determine if we can open other parts of the main core but there are parts of where the fire was which will clearly not be ready before the end of the school year," said Gallagher.

More testing needs to take place at the school to ensure the air quality is at an acceptable level. Chris Broadbent, the manager of health and safety at the Toronto District School Board, likened the smell inside the school to a campfire, "but probably twice as intense."

Because of the damage to the remaining classrooms, a number of students will have to continue to go to Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute for their classes.

Affected students have been attending Eastern Commerce since last Thursday, a day after some 1,200 students were forced out of the Danforth Technical due to a three-alarm fire that started in a drama classroom.

Police later said they were conducting an arson investigation into the blaze. Gallagher could provide no further details about that investigation.

There are no classes scheduled for Friday, which is when students can come back to the school to pick up their belongings.

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