Valley Fire: Homeless children return to Middletown schools

MIDDLETOWN (KRON) — The Middletown Unified School District opened for the first time in two weeks since the Valley Fire erupted.

The Valley Fire broke out on Sept. 12 and burned 76,067 acres in Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties.

Middletown was among the three towns that suffered almost complete devastation. The others include Cobb and Hidden Valley.

Firefighters are still battling the flames but as of Sunday they have the fire contained at 97 percent. The massive fire demolished 1,238 homes, leaving 3,000 people homeless.

KRON4’s Will Tran spent Monday morning at Middletown High School talking with staff and parents on how the community is coping with the loss.

“It’s bittersweet,” said superintendent Catherine Stone. “We’re still excited to have everybody back and to try to be normal again.”

Stone said that not everyone will be returning to the Middletown Unified School District. Some families that lost their homes have relocated to other school districts.

Stone does not have an estimate of how many children will be returning but said that 200 students and 30 staff members have lost their homes.

“The kids were just ecstatic this morning so i’s going to be really good for them,” said one mother at Middletown High School.

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