A fire in the old gym at Mt. Olive school was reported at 8:45 this (Friday) morning. At least seven local fire departments responded to the call and had the fire under control within an hour. The old gym serves as a warehouse for Columbus County Schools at the Mt. Olive Annex-Plant Operations.
Youngsters at the Mount Olive Head Start program located nearby were evacuated as a precaution.
Columbus County Schools spokesperson Kelly Jones said the facility was used to store a variety of items. Paper, supplemental materials for EOG and EOC testing and some technology equipment was stored waiting for distribution. Some items that were scheduled to be discarded were temporarily stored in the facility.
The cause of the fire has not been determined. Departments responding were North Whiteville, Whiteville, Fair Bluff, Chadbourn-Klondyke, Evergreen, Bladenboro and Brunswick.
Mt. Olive School is on Silverspoon Road near the Bladen County line north of Whiteville.