Central Florida school suffers devastating fire, destroys band instruments

Clermont, FL — East Ridge High School is trying to pick up the charred pieces of their band after a fire tore through a locker room where many of their instruments were kept.

The fire happened right before marching band season and as one Facebook post puts it, “It has put us at risk for having to end the band program for the season.”

"When the parent began to inform me what was going on, obviously my first question was, 'You are not kidding me, are you?'" said Jack Hart, the school's band director, on the fire.

Hart says it isn’t just the marching band instruments that were ruined, but uniforms might have been as well.

“You are a marching band and you want to be in uniform, so, but we haven't gone into those areas yet, but we are waiting to see," he explains.

"This is really a kick in the gut for all of our families," Fred Robertson, the president of the Band Parents Association at the high school said.

"Some of these kids, this is their second home. It really is. This is where they come, this the thing that they do. And it's not just kids that are here. It's also kids that have graduated and moved on."

The total damage done to the school’s property has not yet been determined and the cause of the fire was ruled accidental.

"We are in dire need of replacement instruments, and we are reaching out to our community and co-workers and fellow band directors," Hart adds.

The school has set up a GoFundMe page to help replace destroyed instruments and uniforms.

East Ridge is also asking for donations of instruments that the kids may use.

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The East Ridge High School Band instrument room , in Clermont Florida caught on fire last night and many of the...

Posted by Samantha Poreda on Friday, September 6, 2019

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