Arson investigators in Roberts, Wis., confirm someone forced entry into the St. Croix Central Elementary School building before a fire broke out early on Tuesday morning.
Police are asking the public to provide tips about any suspicious behavior between Monday night and Tuesday morning by calling 715-386-4701. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Principal Steve Sanders told the New Richmond News the fire will close St. Croix Central Elementary School in Roberts, Wis., for the remainder of the school year.
Roberts-Warren Fire Chief Jeff Vogt said that the case is still under investigation and about 90 firefighters from various communities were involved in the aftermath. State investigators are coming in to help assess the fire.
Superintendent David Bradley told FOX 9 News that the elementary school will close after a fire torched parts of the building early Tuesday morning. Administration will need to find classrooms for the 600 kindergarten through fourth grade students.
"We don't know what the future holds for classes," Bradley said. "The fire department tells me it's unlikely we will have classes here for rest of the year. We have 26 days left. We're meeting later this morning with our administrative team and others to see where we can find locations around the community where we can hold classes."
The Roberts-Warren Fire Department was dispatched to the school at 4 a.m. where they found smoke and fire from the roof. The fire burned through the office and library located near the front of the building.
Investigators confirmed the school does not have security cameras, and the damage was largely contained to the front of the building, which housed the offices and library.
"It's grandma's library -- always has been," lamented Tammy Bruesewitz, whose mother retired as librarian last year.
Wisconsin mother Amy Huot spoke to FOX 9 after news of the fire; her son and daughter both attend the elementary school. Huot said her son was ready to enjoy the day off from kindergarten, while his older sister cried on the couch and worried about the welfare of her school.
Roberts is a small town about 11 miles beyond the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin off of Interstate 4.