WVPA Sharing

Fire at West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind destroys former administration building; students not on campus at time of incident

WV Press Release Sharing

ROMNEY, W.Va. – All students and staff are safe after a fire broke out on the campus of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB) in Romney, West Virginia. The school’s Administration Building was destroyed, and the West Virginia Fire Marshal is investigating. The building, which was unoccupied at the time, housed historical artifacts and the school superintendent’s residence. 

The fire, which was reported shortly after 6 a.m., was contained to the area around the Administration Building. No students were on campus at the time of the fire, as they all had been transported to their homes for the weekend. The building is a total loss.

“It is important that no students were on campus during this traumatic event,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Nonetheless, this is a major loss and students will have many questions when they return. We will provide the necessary supports for both students and staff, and we will work closely with state officials that are investigating.”

“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of this iconic building but are grateful no one was hurt and there were no additional losses,” said State Board of Education President Miller Hall. “Fire and emergency crews arrived immediately, and the Department of Education, Board of Education and the WVSDB sincerely appreciate their swift response.”

The Administration Building dates back to the 1800s before the school’s transition to serve deaf and blind children in West Virginia. It has been a landmark for the school and the community and served several purposes over time. To learn more about the history of the school visit the WVSDB website.

Updates will be shared as information becomes available.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or [email protected].

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