School district offers support

BASCOM — Tragedy struck a Hopewell-Loudon Local School family early Thursday morning.

According to Hopewell-Loudon Superintendent David Alvarado, the people involved in the house fire east of Fostoria on SR 18 were members of the school community.

Alvarado said the district is offering as much support as it can for students, staff and the community. The district is working with the Critical Incident Stress Management team of Western Ohio, which is supplying counseling services. Also, neighboring districts, such as Tiffin City Schools and Sentinel Career and Technology Center, are offering support in counseling and the TCS therapy dog. Local clergy also are to be on-hand for students and staff.

“We are utilizing all the resources available,” Alvarado said. “We are just getting through the day.”

There also are resources on the school’s website at Letters are being sent home to parents with additional support resources.

The district hosted a community meeting Thursday night for families to talk about grief and as a time to reflect in a safe environment.

According to Alvarado, the district was placed on a two-hour delay Thursday morning to organize, get resources in place and meet with teachers. He said the delay also was in place due to road closures.

Alvarado said the district wanted students and staff in school to provide individuals to talk to.

“This tragedy impacts the whole community,” he said. “This is a close-knit community. All are affected.”

Alvarado also said the district requested support from Tiffin City Schools and New Riegel Local Schools for bus drivers.

“The area districts are very supportive,” he said.

Alvarado said the mood of the building is “as can be imagined.”

“We are here supporting each other,” he said. “The counselors here are wonderful.”

The band concert scheduled for Thursday evening was postponed.

Seneca County Opportunity Center closed Thursday because the residence in question might have been the home of an employee, Opportunity Center Superintendent Lew Hurst said.

Hurst said the center also brought in counselors for staff and will continue offering support to staff and individuals today.

Chaplains from the Seneca County Chaplain Corps. also are to be on site.

Hurst said the facility closed because they didn’t want drivers to “drive distraught.”

“This is a tough and tragic time,” he said.