Yesterday morning, a fire broke out in the gym at Fryeburg Academy, reducing the building and everything in it to ash with a few melted steel beams. All of the school’s athletic uniforms and equipment were housed in the building. Fire marshalls have not yet determined the cause of the fire. The school’s administration will not cancel any of the athletic contests or other events that were scheduled to take place in the building or with supplies that were kept in the building, based on the immiediate generosity of the local and neighboring communities.

“There won’t be anything that gets canceled because of this fire,” said Dan Lee, headmaster of the 690-student private academy…”We’re going to make everything go.” Lee said he made that commitment based on an outpouring of generosity from other high schools, beginning with Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Fryeburg’s opponent in football Saturday.

The estimated damage is at about $1.5 million. The school had already started to collect money to replace the gymnasium 3 years from now, and is instead going to try to accelerate those plans.

While it is never a good thing when a piece of history is burned to the ground, I am glad to see the generosity of the communities surrounding Fryeburg and the way that they are handling the whole situation. There is no doubt that they have lost a lot in the fire, but hopefully this will lead to them being able to start fresh and be in a good shape in the next few years.