LAWRENCE (CBS) – Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling a 3-alarm blaze at a school building on Howard Street on Saturday.

Flames broke out at the John R. Rollins Early Childhood Center at 451 Howard St. just after 5 p.m. Crews battled the blaze into the evening.

chan lawrence fire 6pm 20171223 Fire Rips Through Lawrence School Building

Firefighters battled a 3-alarm blaze at a Lawrence school Saturday. (WBZ-TV)

The school is located across from the fire station, so when firefighters spotted the fire, they jumped into action.

They saw flames billowing from the roof of the building.

Crews reported several issues: icy sidewalks and roads, frozen fire hydrants and difficulty getting through windows of the large, three-story brick building. Multiple fire hydrants were tapped to fight the blaze.

“Weather conditions (are) slowing us down, it’s slippery, it’s icy, (it’s) difficult for the trucks to get around, difficult for people to make it up the hill, but other than that, we’ve been doing well,” Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said at the scene.

Firefighters responded from several communities including Salem, North Andover, and Haverhill along with state fire officials.

Firefighters were seen carrying out two fish tanks – saving two turtles from one of the classrooms.

The Rollins school was built in 1892. During the week, the school is used by approximately 172 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students and 50 staff members.

Luckily, it is the weekend and Christmas break so no students were inside of the building at the time of the fire.

Fire officials are investigating the cause of the blaze.


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