Fire Severely Damages Spring Valley Academy
pring Valley Academy (SVA), an Adventist-owned day academy in Centerville, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, incurred more than $4 million damages from a fire that appears to have originated in the school’s mechanical room. No one was injured.
It was an electrical fire,” reports Jeff Bovee, SVA principal. “The fire came out of that mechanical and went into the ceiling and went down the hallway in both directions. The mechanical room housed the electrical power, phone lines, and internet. The great news is that, for the most part, all of the classrooms are fine besides some smoke damage. Most of the smoke damage is in the hallways.”
Several students and faculty practicing for a school play were in the building when Erickson discovered the fire around 7 p.m. September 8. Erickson was driven from the building by smoke after trying to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher. Everyone was safely evacuated. When fire fighters arrived, thick black smoke could be seen pouring from the building. Several news agencies arrived to report on the incident.
Bovee noted that adjusters are continuing to assess the damages. However, current estimates are in excess of $4 million.
Local fire officials have determined that the electrical blaze was accidental. School officials closed the academy for six days before resuming classes at Kettering Adventist Church, on the campus of the Kettering College of Medical Arts. On September 29, classes were relocated to the former Ridgeville Christian School, in Ridgeville, Ohio. School officials successfully leased the school building that had been closed for more than a year. It is anticipated that classes will meet in the Ridgeville building for several months, Bovee says.
Jay Colburn, Ohio Conference education director, expressed appreciation for the help of the Kettering Medical Network in responding to the tragedy.
SVA just celebrated its fortieth anniversary. The kindergarten through 12th-grade school currently has 293 students. School officials ask for your prayers for the academy, its faculty, and students.
--Columbia Union Visitor, AR Staff