NEWPORT, Wash.—A small fire in the shop area forced Newport High School teachers to evacuate students around 11:50.
School District leaders confirmed that the fire was contained by noon and damage was minimal. They said the fire began in a sawdust collector outside of the shop class.
“They kept a saw running and then it shot sparks up into the dust collector and the dust collector caught fire,” said student Jacob Carpenter.
Crews said the fire fed smoke into the ventilation system and the smoke filled the building.
“No one knew it was serious until we got outside, way over there, we looked and saw all the smoke coming out of the ceiling,” said student Ryan Rapp.
Students were moved to Stratton Elementary School nearby. All students are accounted for according to school staff. They were released from the elementary school at 2:35 p.m.
No one will be allowed back into the building until the fire department has completed an air quality test.
Leaders of the School District said they expect to have class again on Monday but they will activate their alert system if they are unable to rid the building of the smoke.