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Co-Mo crews bring power to Latham's temporary classrooms

Co-Mo crews bring power to Latham's temporary classrooms

February 16th, 2011 by Democrat Staff in News

Less than two months after a fire destroyed the main part of Latham R-V School, Co-Mo Electric Cooperative linemen brought power to its new mobile classrooms.

The crews worked through bitter winds Thursday, Feb. 10, to hook up the classrooms, which will soon allow the 60 students to return to familiar ground to resume learning. Since the Dec. 15, 2010 fire, the students have been meeting in the local Pilot Grove Baptist Church.

Co-Mo staff engineered the job last week, and Operations Manager Chuck Tuttle said he made it a priority to schedule the cooperative's linemen to get the job done as soon as possible.

"These kids could use a bit of normalcy," Tuttle said. "We wanted to do what we could to get them back in as familiar setting as possible."

The job was originally scheduled to be completed Wednesday, Feb. 9, but subzero wind chills and a morning of snow pushed it back to Thursday.

According to firefighters, neighbors awoke just before 3 a.m. Dec. 15 and saw the school in flames. Eventually, six fire departments were on scene to battle the blaze. Crews were hampered by a lack of water, forcing tanker trucks to make several runs to Fortuna to bring more to the scene.

Students in the kindergarten through eighth-grade district were out of school from that day through the new year. They returned Jan. 7 to their temporary home at Pilot Grove Baptist Church. Latham School officials said they plan to rebuild on the current site.

Thousands of dollars in donations and boxes upon boxes of supplies from community members in and around Latham have flooded in since the day of the fire.

"We're just happy to do our part," Co-Mo Electric CEO/General Manager Ken Johnson said.