Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff
A four-alarm fire this morning heavily damaged a building at a school for special needs students in Weston, but no one was injured, officials said.
The fire broke out about 6 a.m. at the Gifford School on Boston Post Road, in the Fenn Center building, which includes a science center, kitchen, gym, and cafeteria, said Michael J. Bassichis, the school's executive director. No students were at the school and no one was injured.
"The best thing is nobody is hurt," he said. "We will survive. We will rebuild it."
Firefighters were still using a ladder truck to douse the flames shortly after 8:30 a.m., as a plume of light gray smoke continued to rise from the gray, wood-framed building. The right side of the building was totally destroyed.
Fire companies from Lexington, Waltham, Natick, Newton, Sudbury, and Wellesley, could be seen at the scene.
Weston Fire Chief David Soar said the first alarm was sounded at 6:08 a.m., and units were on the scene in four minutes. They found heavy smoke and fire on their arrival.
He said firefighters initially tried to fight the blaze from inside the building but were driven out by a collapsing roof. He said the building was up to code.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation by the Weston Fire Department and the state fire marshal's office, but it does not appear suspicious, he said.
He said the building had sustained at least $750,000 in damage.
"Nobody got hurt. We stopped it from spreading to other buildings. So -- a successful morning," Soar said.
According to the school's website, Gifford is a private day school providing a specialized educational and clinical program for students.
Bassichis said the school serves 102 students, ranging in age from 8 to 18.
Bassichis said a school staff member went into the kitchen this morning to heat up some water, and the fire broke out shortly after. He did not know why the fire started.
Sergeant David Mahan, a State Police spokesman, said troopers have shut down the ramp that connects Interstate 128 southbound onto Route 20 westbound because of the fire
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