Administrators at Northside Middle School in Northport hope their students will be able to return to class by the end of the week after a fire destroyed about a third of the school's library Wednesday morning.
At around 6 a.m., a school custodian noticed smoke in the building and five area fire departments responded, putting out the flames in a short amount of time. Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton said officials believe the fire started in the ceiling of a storage area, but aren't sure how.
School librarian Leanna Miles said she arrived to find melted computers and books covered in soot. She said the school has insurance; however rebuilding will be difficult after the state cut funding to the library three years ago.
A defective heating unit is believed to be the cause of the blaze.