Historic chapel at South Kent School ‘heavily damaged’ after fire

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KENT — There was a fire at a historic and beloved chapel on the campus of a private boarding school in Kent Tuesday night.

Head of School Andrew Vadnais said the fire was discovered shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday when a faculty member noticed smoke coming from the chapel at the South Kent School.

Kent Fire Department crews were on the scene in less than 15 minutes, said Vadnais, and additional fire crews from surrounding departments assisted.

All students were safe and accounted for, according to Vadnais.

“We did find heavy smoke and upon arrival. We had heavy flames and heavy fire in the sacristy area of the chapel,” said Kent Fire Chief Alan Gawel. “There is heavy structural damage in that section. The rest of the chapel has some smoke damage.”

Gawel said there were no injuries and that there were six fire companies besides Kent involved with fighting the fire.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time but the local and state fire marshals are investigating