Annex Building Fire
19 August 2005
Early on the morning of 19 August 2005, the Annex Building on the Glynn Academy campus caught fire. Originally built around 1889 to replace the school building that used to stand in Sterling but has now been returned to the G.A. Campus, the Annex building later became the home to the Mansfield Street School in 1909 after the Prep building was built for the high school classes. Eventually it came back into the Glynn Academy fold.
On 18 August 2005, around 5:30 p.m., severe lightning storms developed in Brunswick. I sat on Blythe Island Hwy. and watched the strikes, wondering what was being hit, if anything. Watching at a distance, it's hard to gauge where the lightning was hitting, was it Brunswick, St. Simons, etc.?
Although no official fire investigation has been published at this writing, it is assumed that lightning was the cause of the fire that started in the attic of the Annex Building. According to news reports, the City Fire Department noticed the fire around 5:30 a.m. on the 19th when the fire department was surrounded by smoke.
No flames were visible upon their arrival, firefighters entered the building to find the source and extinguish it, but they were shortly called out when flames were noticed jumping from the roof. City and County fire fighters had to fight the blaze together, as the City did not have an aerial truck to get to the roof of the building.
The storms that started on Thursday the 18th of August, carried over well into the next afternoon, it's possible that lightning did strike this building. Firefighters believe the fire may have started around 2 a.m. on Friday morning. The structure was made of heart pine wood and brick, and soon began to collapse after a couple of hours. The fire was reportedly under control by 7 a.m.
Just as with any fire, there were personal losses at the school as well. Many teachers had belongings in their class rooms, and numerous student lockers were located in the building too. Thankfully no one was inside the building at the time, and school was cancelled for the day. Plans now have to be made to determine where classes from this building can be relocated to, as well as insurance coverage, and the safety needs of the students while this building stands in ruin.
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