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Archive for Friday, May 1, 1998

FIRE IN DRYER FORCES SCHOOL EVACUATION

May 1, 1998

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A Thursday morning fire inside a dryer at Central Junior High School forced more than 400 students and teachers out of the school for an hour.

No one was injured in the fire, but school administrators evacuated the building, 1440 Mass., because of heavy smoke.

Fire Marshal Rich Barr said the fire was likely started by mop heads that had been used to clean up grease in the school's kitchen. The mop heads were put into a dryer with towels, and the towels probably became saturated with grease and caught fire, Barr said.

A custodial employee at the school extinguished the burning towels in the dryer, in the southeast corner of the school's basement, before Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical trucks arrived. Fire Battalion Chief Dan Morrow said LDCF&M personnel from two stations responded.

The fire was reported at 10:44 a.m., and students stayed outside the school for about an hour.

Principal Ted Juneau said the cost of a replacement dryer wasn't immediately available.

The evacuation cut into students' lunch periods, and students' schedules had to be rearranged.

``They were really good about handling the situation,'' he said.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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