Overnight fire rips through historic Kenner High School building

KENNER –  Fire officials in Kenner say a historical landmark may be a total loss after an overnight fire.

Firefighters found the old Kenner High School building fully engulfed in flames around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.

About four hours later, officials said the fire was still burning, but under control.

Residents in the neighborhood were told to stay inside with their windows closed, due to heavy smoke in the area.

Armstrong International Airport was also put on alert as the wind carried smoke toward the runway.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Officials say the building had no power source and they will conduct an arson investigation.

The old Kenner High School opened in 1924.

It was the only school in the city, and served kindergarten through 12th grade students.

The school shut down in 1996 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

City leaders say they recently received a grant to restore the building and open it up to the public again.

Acting Fire Chief Stan Genovese says the old school was built with huge timbers which contributed to the rapid engulfment and heavy embers coming off the building.

He also says “It’s unfortunate that the historical building may be a loss, but there were no injuries of first responders.”