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No Injuries in South Side Elementary School Blaze, Fire Department Says

By  Josh McGhee and Emily Morris | October 7, 2013 7:14am | Updated on October 7, 2013 10:26am

 No one was injured in a blaze that broke out in the South Side school.
Olglesby Elementary Fire
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AUBURN GRESHAM — No one was injured after a fire broke out at Oglesby Elementary School in Auburn Gresham Monday morning, authorities said.

Classes at the school have been canceled for the day, school officials said.

The Chicago Fire Department said it sent crews to the school in the 7600 block of South Green Street, where the flames broke out on the top floor sometime before 7 a.m.

The Fire Department said, via Twitter, that no students were in the school at the time of the fire, only staff members. The fire was contained to a single room, according to the Fire Department.

No injuries were reported, the Fire Department said, and the fire was extinguished by 7:30 a.m.

Teacher Angela Lampkin said she was thankful the situation wasn't worse.

"Thank God nobody was here," Lampkin said. "My babies weren't here, thank God."

Parents were being allowed to bring their children home for the day, and the school was arranging to bring kids whose parents can't pick them up early to Wentworth School at 69th Street and Sangamon Avenue for the day.

Teachers had started calling parents to tell them school was canceled, but later stops. Parents were given the choice to drop off their kids at the school or take them home for the day. Those who stayed were brought to the Oglesby gymnasium before being transported by bus to Wentworth.

Fuchsia Ayers, 25, walked her daughters to school expecting to see children lined up by the breakfast door. Instead, they were surprised by the big commotion outside the school.

"They really wanted to know what happened to their school," Ayers said. "When they found out it was a fire they became concerned and started asking what happened."

"It's kind of unfortunate because the school has been running smoothly compared to other years," Ayers said. "I'm shocked. I'm shook up. This is upsetting."

Ayers dropped her third-grader and kindergartner off at the school saying, "they seem to have it under control and have a plan." She carried home her daughter's book bag full of text books that she had been studying over the weekend.

"I just hope the school opens as soon as possible. We just want them to be able to learn throughout the day," Ayers said.

It wasn't immediately clear how the fire started. Authorities are investigating the cause, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Keiana Barrett said.