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School Supplies Drive Being Held For NJ School Destroyed In Blaze

Authorities are investigating a fire at James Monroe Elementary School in Edison, NJ on March 24, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

Authorities are investigating a fire at James Monroe Elementary School in Edison, NJ on March 24, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

EDISON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A school supplies drive is being held Saturday to help students of a New Jersey elementary school that was destroyed by a massive fire.

A six-alarm fire tore through James Monroe Elementary School in Edison last weekend. Authorities said head custodian Jerome Higgins tossed an unfinished cigarette into a trash can in the janitor’s office last Saturday, sparking the blaze.

This week, students relocated to two buildings on the Middlesex County College campus.

Donations have already been pouring in from around the country and more will be collected at the Target store Saturday in South Plainfield.

The school, which has roughly 500 kindergarten through fifth-grade students, was celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

“We are going to survive and we’re going to be better for this whole experience,” principal Lynda Zapoticzny said.

Higgins was issued a summons accusing him of smoking in a public building, which is a disorderly persons offense. He’s been placed on administrative leave.

It could take at least two years to rebuild the original school.

For more information from the school, click here.

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