Palmer High School reopens two weeks after fire

Hampden County

Palmer High School reopened Monday, after being closed for more than two weeks because of damage from a fire. 

That fire happened back on March 9. The school has been closed since then because of extensive smoke damage. The smoke damaged lots of school supplies, like books and notebooks. So, the community came together to donate some of what was lost. 

“There’s a bunch of schools from all over town coming together,” said Delaney Walch, a junior at Palmer High School. “My family members were busy fundraising so it’s really nice to see.”

At the event, Big Y donated $10,000 and Monson Savings Bank gave $3,000 to the school. Rivalries were even set aside as Ware High School dropped off boxes of school supplies. 

“I understand what my faculty-friends are going through,” explained Ware teacher Missy Briggs-Lefferts. “So, we just wanted to do a little something.”

Palmer Principal Susan North told 22News these donations will help students get back into their routines after the fire. 

“It’s wonderful. We are trying to welcome everybody back to really start a new beginning and help them through this,” said North. 

To make up for the missed time, school days will be extended by 33 minutes, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education waived three days from the school year requirement, and six days for seniors. 

You can help Palmer High School with school supplies by donating from this Amazon Wish List. 

The State Fire Marshal said the fire back on March 9 started after a rag soaked with linseed oil spontaneously combusted in the school’s woodshop.

The Palmer Fire Department said Palmer High School is one of several schools and buildings in the town that has no sprinkler system.  

This is mainly because the schools were built in the 1990s when schools weren’t required to have sprinklers in the building.

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