RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dozens of people gathered outside of Fox Elementary Monday morning to hang Valentine’s Day messages of love after a disastrous fire caused mass destruction to the building.

Flames spouted from the roof of the building Friday night as bystanders could only watch in horror. Richmond Fire Department blocked off the roads surrounding the school to attack the fire from the top of the structure.

During a press conference Saturday, Richmond Fire Chief Melvin Carter said that his department responded to an alarm that went off at the school prior to the fire, around 9:30 p.m. Friday. Montoya said that crews gained access to the building, investigated for 40 minutes, and then left. He said that no presence of fire was detected at that time.

At approximately 10:50 p.m., a second alarm was activated. Then, at about 11:09 p.m., parts of the roof reportedly began to collapse, so all crews were evacuated from the interior of the building.

Superintendent Jason Kamras announced Saturday that classes would be held virtually for the foreseeable future.

“Fox will be closed Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “The team at Fox needs a couple of days to prepare for a shift to virtual learning. We will go 100% virtual for Fox Elementary starting on Wednesday. We want to give everyone time to process the events and make the necessary academic preparations.”

Monday, in their annual tradition of placing hearts around the building on Valentine’s Day, people gathered with a general sense of sadness — as spreading the love across the gates of the school took a greater meaning of symbolism this year.