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Ceiling tile from a hallway near a door lies damaged on the ground at Franklin Elementary School in Moline, Sunday, after a fire was reported in one of the class rooms. School officials said the fire was electrical in nature.

Moline-Coal Valley School District administrators continue to determine where Franklin Elementary School can hold classes after a Sunday fire made the school building unusable.

Franklin parents and students attended a meeting Monday evening in Wilson Middle School auditorium, where Superintendent Lanty McGuire provided an update.

There will be no school for Franklin Elementary students this week because of an electrical fire in a classroom at the school. No one was injured in the fire that caused significant smoke and water damage to classrooms and hallways at Franklin, but a classroom pet was killed.

McGuire said it will be some time before the building can be used again.

When the Franklin teachers walked into the auditorium, they received a round of applause and cheers.

“These teachers lost everything in their classrooms,” McGuire said. The kids’ stuff, he said, “will stay there until we know it’s safe. Everything needs to be cleaned.”

The district is searching for a location where students and staff can meet. “We do have some leads,” McGuire said. He added that Johannes and MetroLink bus services have reached out to the district to help with transportation.

“We don’t have all the answers,” McGuire said. “We don’t know all of the questions to ask.”

“This is a district thing. We need to make everything in the district as normal as possible,” McGuire said.

The Franklin Elementary School community will walk in the Moline High School homecoming parade Friday as the grand marshal, he said. Updates about the parade and progress made toward finding an alternate location will be posted on the district website at

McGuire thanked the entire Quad-City community that has stepped up to offer help.

“We are thankful everyone was safe and there were no students in the building,” said Board President Kate Schaefer, who spoke briefly at the meeting. “Thank you all. We’ll get through this together.”

Kelle Larned, whose son Jacob is in second grade at Franklin, was among parents who received notification of the incident and cancellation of school via a Skylert message soon after the fire Sunday. “I’m just trying to figure out where they’re going,” she said. “He’s a routine kind of kid – now everything is kind of flipped upside down.”

“The unknown is difficult,” said Jacob’s teacher, Abby Thrasher. “And teachers are planners, so not knowing is hard. But everything will be all right.”

As of 9 p.m. Monday, more than $5,000 had been raised at a Franklin gofundme page:


Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Broadcast Film Critics Association member. College instructor for criminal justice, English and math. Serves on Safer Foundation and The Salvation Army advisory boards. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church