Fire inside Clermont high school damages marching band instruments

School's band director: 'We are in dire need of replacement instruments'

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

CLERMONT, Fla. - A fire inside East Ridge High School in Clermont is believed to have destroyed instruments for most of the members of the school's marching band.

Jack Hart, the school's band director, said that he received several phone calls Thursday evening informing him of the fire.

"When the parent began to inform me what was going on, obviously my first question was, 'You are not kidding me, are you?'" Hart said.

Hart said the area where the fire occurred was used to store students' instruments.

"We are in dire need of replacement instruments, and we are reaching out to our community and co-workers and fellow band directors," Hart said.

Fred Robertson, the president of the Band Parents Association for the East Ridge High School Marching Band, said that his son is a junior at the school. Robertson said the community is coming together to try to get results.

"This is really a kick in the gut for all of our families," Robertson said. "Some of these kids, this is their second home. It really is. This is where they come, this the thing that they do. And it's not just kids that are here. It's also kids that have graduated and moved on."

Hart also said that it wasn't just instruments believed to be damaged, but also uniforms the marching band just purchased last year.

"You are a marching band and you want to be in uniform, so, but we haven't gone into those areas yet, but we are waiting to see," Hart said.

The total amount of damage has not yet been determined.

Fire officials said they've determined the fire was accidental.

The band has set up a fundraising page for anyone looking to help them replace the instruments.

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