On Feb. 13, 1969, there was a fire in two classrooms at Kolter. The students saw the smoke coming from the ceiling and teachers immediately got them outside. The 1,000 students who attended Kolter at that time safely evacuated in 5 minutes, according to reports.
But from there, the children sought shelter from icy rain in neighbors’ homes who fed them and kept them calm until their parents picked them up. After the fire was extinguished, parents stayed for hours helping to mop and clean the school and brought coffee and sandwiches to the firemen, reports said. And the next day, Feb. 14, the principal’s desk was filled with Valentine’s and thank you cards from the community for her leadership. Kolter students also wrote thank you letters to all the neighbors and firefighters, one student even saying their class hamster was saved!
See The Bellaire & Southwestern Texan newspaper article on the fire and children’s thank you notes below!