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Evacuated nursing home residents hold sleepover in Sebeka school, then return to Menahga

By Dave Olson

Forum News Service

Sebeka School Board members were meeting Tuesday night when the phone in the district offices started ringing.

Superintendent Dave Fjeldheim said it was clear something was up, so someone finally answered it.

The call was from officials battling a wildfire near Menahga. They wanted to know if residents of the Green Pine Acres Nursing Home could spend the night at the Sebeka School.

The answer was yes and residents were soon arriving at the school.

Fjeldheim said between 100 and 125 people spent the night in the school, including nursing home and assisted-living residents and other residents from the Menahga area.

The school fed its guests breakfast about 6:30 this morning and about two hours later nursing home residents started heading back to Menahga after getting the OK from officials there, Fjeldheim said. Calmer winds gave firefighters confidence the nursing home was safe, he said.

School was canceled today in Sebeka, but classes will resume Thursday.

Fjeldheim said the day will probably not have to be made up and school will close for the summer as planned May 31.

Fjeldheim said he was impressed by the number of people who volunteered to help nursing home residents deal with their evacuation. Volunteers included the Sebeka girls softball team, which returned from a trip Tuesday night and stayed for some time pitching in at the school.

“They stuck around until 1:00-1:30 helping out,” Fjeldheim said.

“Those kind of things really impress me about our population in general. In times of trouble, people come out and help,” he said.