Jim Reinseth, a longtime teacher at Nanwalek School, died during a house fire that occurred in Nanwalek on Tuesday.
“Our hearts go out to Jim Reinseth, his family, friends, and the staff, students, and community of Nanwalek where he has been an educator since 2007,” Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent John O’Brien said in a Wednesday post to the district’s communications blog. “We are working with our principal and the village to ensure that any additional support and comfort that we can offer is provided.”
Pegge Erkeneff, communications liaison for the school district, told the Clarion Wednesday that classes at Nanwalek School were canceled for the remainder of the week, and counselors have been made available to anyone in the area.
“It’s a sad day,” Erkeneff said. “Being at Nanwalek for the last 13 years, Jim has taught most of the kids in that community.”
The fire occurred near the school, Erkeneff said, so employees from the borough’s maintenance department traveled to the community Wednesday morning to determine if there were any damages to the school.
No one else was involved in the fire, and the state’s Department of Public Safety is investigating to determine the cause, Erkeneff said.