Fire struck an elementary school before dawn Tuesday in western Wisconsin, forcing administrators to contemplate shutting down the building for the rest of the school year.

The blaze was reported to police about 4 a.m. by a resident across the street from St. Croix Central Elementary School at 202 S. Division St. in Roberts, said Police Chief Dan Burgess. No one was in the building at the time when the fire broke out in the front, where the school’s offices and library are located.

While the flames were pretty much contained by 5:30 a.m. or so, firefighters remained on scene into midmorning to work on hot spots and tend to cleanup duties, Burgess added.

There is no immediate word on how the fire started, but District Superintendent David Bradley said, “I’m hearing reports there is something suspicious” about how the fire started.

Bradley said that fire officials were expressing doubt that classes could resume there this school year, leaving the district searching for alternate sites for instruction for the 600 so students.

The soonest the students will be back in class somewhere will be Monday, Bradley added.