A fire in a clothes dryer near a home economics classroom at Naperville Central High School caused more than $100,000 in smoke and water damage Monday afternoon.
About 100 students - most of them participating in after-school athletics programs - were evacuated from the school at 440 W. Aurora Ave. after a fire alarm sounded there at 4:54 p.m. Monday, Naperville Fire Department Capt. Thomas Oker said. No one was injured. The students took shelter in the school's fieldhouse, or main gymnasium, he said.
Susan E. Rice, director of communications for Naperville School District 203, said two culinary rooms and two traditional classrooms were expected to be closed Tuesday after being damaged in the fire. Tuesday's classes at the school are expected to be largely unaffected.
Twenty-five Naperville Fire Department firefighters and 12 emergency vehicles were sent to the campus after a fire alarm sounded there, Division Fire Chief Mark T. Ziemnik said in a prepared statement. Firefighters found smoke coming from a hallway leading into a home economics classroom on the building's south side.
Oker said firefighters found two stacked washer-dryer units inside an adjacent utility room. Flames were seen inside one of the dryers, and firefighters used a fire extinguisher to quell the blaze, Oker said.
Ziemnik said fire damage was confined to the dryer and its contents. Two classrooms and the adjoining hallway sustained smoke and water damage, he said.
The cause of the blaze remained under investigation Monday by members of the city's fire investigation team, Ziemnik said.
Rice said representatives of the district's insurance provider were en route Monday night to the school to assess the damage.
"Potentially, four classrooms are affected at this point," Rice said. "If there is any possibility of getting the classrooms cleaned up and ready, we will do that. However, we don't anticipate having those classrooms open (Tuesday)."
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