prospecthempstead WABC-TV
Firefighters work to extinguish flames at Prospect School in Hempstead, N.Y.

Fire at Hempstead, N.Y., school causes serious damage

Authorities say a lightning strike on the roof of Prospect School ignited the blaze.

A lightning strike sparked a fire that severely damaged a school in Hempstead, N.Y.

WABC-TV reports that the fire that started during a Tuesday night storm tore through Prospect School after a lightning strike on the roof of the building.

The school is home to nearly 600 pre-K and kindergarten students.

The entire top floor of the building is strewn with ash, water and debris. The lower floors sustained significant water damage.

Regina Armstrong, acting superintendent of the Hempstead Union Free District, says officials are working as quickly as possible to get the school repaired and ready for the first day of school on Sept. 4.

Restoration work is already underway.

Armstrong says Hempstead is working with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County (BOCES) to find alternative space for students if the building is not ready for the children to return next month.

"We have to ensure that the school is safe for the students," says LaMont Johnson, school board president. "That is our main concern," 


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