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2-alarm blaze does 'significant damage' to Salpointe High School

Firefighters battled two-alarm blaze at Salpointe Catholic High School on Sunday night.

Around 8:13 p.m., Tucson Fire Department crews responded to the high school in midtown Tucson where they found "heavy smoke and flames" from a wing of classrooms near the southeast corner of the campus. As the fire tore through the building, firefighters called for a second alarm and fought it "defensively,"TFD officials said. From the street, two ladder trucks sprayed the building's roof and sides with water.

The fire was under control withing an hour. No one was injured, and investigators are reviewing how the fire started, officials said.

In a statement, Jennifer Harris, the high school's director of advancement, praised Tucson firefighters and  police for responding "quickly and valiantly."

"We do not yet know the cause," Harris wrote Monday morning. "We are grateful that no one was injured."

Harris said the fire started in the attic space above a classroom in the school's English wing, a building that runs parallel to Cherry Ave. on the east side of the campus, and the flames caused "significant damage."

"Smoke and water damage are also present throughout the 300 and 400 wings," said Harris. "Fire safety assessment personnel and building safety experts are on site," she said, adding the school will not open the campus "until it is deemed safe to do so."

On Monday afternoon, TFD posted pictures on Twitter showing a gutted hallway where investigators were picking through debris.

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"Campus is closed until further notice and all activities are canceled," Harris said. "Please do not visit the Salpointe Catholic campus until further notice. We have not determined building and air quality safety. "

Harris said the school hopes to start school on Aug. 8 as originally scheduled, adding we "have no plans to switch to remote learning."

"This is a devastating and unexpected setback," she said. "However, we will come together as a Salpointe community and we will meet this challenge. Our students’ education and wellness are our top priorities and we look forward to another successful year at Salpointe."

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Tucson Fire Department responded to a 2-alarm at Salpointe Catholic High School on Sunday night.