Second Fire This Year at McKinley School Damages Classroom

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police and school officials confirmed there was a fire at the Fourth Ward's McKinley Community School on September 22.

New Brunswick Today learned about the incident through the grapevine, as neither the school district nor the police department issued any public statements about the incident until we asked them to confirm the blaze.

"There was a fire reported at McKinley School on September 22, 2015 during evening hours," said NBPD Captain JT Miller.  "There were no injuries as a result of the incident and its cause is under investigation."

The district's new Superintendent of Schools also confirmed the incident was affecting the school's operations, at least for a few days.

"On Tuesday 9/22/15 at approximately 10:30pm there was a fire at McKinley Community School in a classroom. There were no injuries, however, there was limited damage that will require some alternate plans," wrote Superintendent Aubrey Johnson.

"The classroom impacted by the fire will be cleaned and closed for a couple days," Johnson continued.  "Students will be relocated to an alternate classroom within the building and should be back in there classroom by Monday."

It marks at least the second documented fire this year at the K-8 school, which is located on Van Dyke Avenue next to the headquarters of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA).

On January 20, a student allegedly started a small fire in the boys' bathroom, forcing the school to be evacuated to a nearby warehouse building for the rest of the school day.

The juvenile was charged with aggravated arson, as we reported in February.

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Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.