ST. CLOUD - The historic Roosevelt Early Childhood Center building has been destroyed by a fire that started late on Saturday night.

Firefighters say a lightning strike is being investigated as the cause.

The school is located at 3015 Third Street North in St. Cloud. The fire was called in at about 11:35 p.m. Fire crews worked overnight to battle the blaze. St. Cloud Fire Chief Bill Mund says the fire was focused on the roof section of the building.

There have been no reports of injuries.

The almost 95 year old school was torn down by 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Mund says the entire part of the original building was completely destroyed. However, the building addition the school district put on several years ago escaped with only water damage.

The Roosevelt Boys & Girls Club, located next to the school, was unscathed from the incident.

While fighting the fire, Mund says as many as eight fire hydrants were used at once by various departments battling the flames.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says losing the building is a sad situation, but he's thankful that nobody was hurt.

Kleis also spoke to several families in the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. He says losing the school will be tough for the area.

David Sorbelet lives in the neighborhood, he says he woke up to the fire and saw large flames coming out of the school.

"I woke up and saw flames that must have been 20-feet tall," Sorbelet says.

The school was built in 1920 and was named after Theodore Roosevelt.

The building was home for Early Childhood Services and included programs like Children Special Education, Early Childhood Family Education, District Preschool and Early Childhood Assessment.

Teachers, children and their families all looked from a distance as the school was torn down on Sunday morning.

Firefighters from St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, Sartell, St. Augusta and Rockville all assisted with the incident.


The remains of the Roosevelt School. (Dan DeBaun, WJON News)
Dan DeBaun, WJON News
Dan DeBaun, WJON News
Dan DeBaun, WJON News
Roosevelt Fire at night. (Photo from WJON listener Denny Bartlow)
Dan DeBaun, WJON News
Dan DeBaun, WJON News
Dan DeBaun, WJON News