STAA Fire

Special to EagleHerald/Brandie Gromala

Looking out the window at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's elementary site in Peshtigo at the spot where the building was struck by lightning during Tuesday's thunderstorm. This section of the roof caught fire, but was quickly extinguished.

PESHTIGO—After many practice drills, students at staff at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy’s elementary campus in Peshtigo were put to the test Tuesday when the building was hit by lightning and caught fire.

“We had a couple classes in the gym playing games when the building was hit,” said Development Coordinator Brandie Gromala.

The building was struck near the gym on the roof of the kitchen. Gromala said there were Pre-K and Kindergarten students in the gym at the time, but nobody was injured. “So when the lightning hit and they heard the big boom, they looked out the window and they could see the fire,” she said.

Gromala said students and staff hurried to the church where they took cover. The police and fire department were there within minutes. She said the fire had actually gone out on its own before the fire department arrived. “The fire department used their thermal indicator to make sure it wasn’t spreading in the walls or anything like that. We were able to stay in school the rest of the day and resume school the next day,” she said.

“We want to make sure that the students and staff not only have the support they need but also know that it was because of their quick thinking and actions that this fire was able to be contained so quickly. We also would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Peshtigo Police and Fire departments for their quick response,” Gromala said.