(WH&VS) WELLAND HIGH & VOCATIONAL SCHOOL FIRE

     At about 3:50am on Saturday June 18, 2011, the former Welland High & Vocational School in Welland, located at the corner of Denistoun and West Main Sts. was found ablaze. Emergency services were called to the location.
     Welland High & Vocational School closed in 1989 as a high school, but continued to operate until 1998 as a continuing education center.
     Fortunately, before the school closed, I had the opportunity to walk the halls of the school for classes in the school from 1994 to 1996. I took Computer Repair, Autocad and Internet Programming.
     My grandfather taught at WHVS from 1944, until his retirement in 1976. His name was Bill Duncan. He was a math teacher for I believe grades 9 and 12, at various stages of his career at WHVS, of his total of 37 years teaching.
     The photos below were taken starting at about 8am, June 18, 2011, until June 21, 2011. Fire crews were on scene until mid-day June 20, 2011.
     I was suddenly awakened about 4am the morning of the 18th, but took it as one of those weird common startling noises you hear so often. I never realized where the noise came from. I heard from others that there was a 'boom' when the fire was identified.
     There hadn't been any electricity in the building since as far back as possibly 2006. The building was boarded up and had a regular 'caretaker' who over-looked the property for damage and intruders.
     It's an unfortunate thing what has happened now. There are now only thousands of memories of the school, as most of the building was affected by fire, except the area of the gym.
     The rest of the building looked as if a bomb went off because the fire dept. had to tear apart the walls, to stop the fires at the bottom level of the building.
     I believe this is one of Welland's worst large fires in the last 50 years. They did a superb job doing what they had to keep it from spreading. I just wish it had never started. It is the last memory of I have of my grandfather, other than the home near me that he used to own.
     Activity around the old school in regards to officials and deconstruction, as I write this on July 4, 2011, have yet to have taken place beyond deconstruction during the fire.
     I was informed that the demolition company showed up near the end of the week of July 18, 2011, but I saw the demo shortly after. They are (did) make quick progress tearing down the remains of the structure north of the main office by mid week, the following week.
     During the week of November 10, 2011, Niagara Regional Police had recently arrested 4 young offenders and a 25 year old. See article here.

     I have relocated the DEMOLITION photos of WH&VS here.

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