Crews Contain Early Morning Fire at Miami School

Anxious students resumed classes at the New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami Tuesday morning, with several learning that an overnight fire damaged some of the art projects they'd been working on for months.

The small electrical fire started in one of the art galleries on the first floor of the school, located at 25 N.E. 2nd Street, at 1:17 a.m.  Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire as the school's sprinkler system helped contain the flames to that one area.

That water kept the flames at bay, but damaged some of the students artwork in the process.

Students Jessica Martinez and Sofia Villalonga say the school was scheduled to host a fashion show on Friday. They were devastated to learn that all of the garments and installations they and their classmates designed were in that room and were subsequently damaged.

The school's Provost Dr. Jeffery Hodgson expressed relief that the fire was kept mainly contained, and says this could be a blessing in design for the students.

"One of the things these students will definitely learn is how to take what they were doing, work on it again, re-constitute it, or be inspired to move on to the next project," he says.

Besides some minor water and smoke damage, firefighters say overall damage was minimal and they credit the school's sprinkler system for containing the fire.

As for the fashion show, school officials say they students will be given ample time to reschedule and re-create designs and installations.

The New World School of the Arts is a magnet high school affiliated with Miami-Dade College and the University of Florida.

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