by Angie Asam —Staff Writer
After having three scheduled days of school off due to cold temperatures, students at Rogers City High School/Middle School returned to school Tuesday for less than three hours before being sent home.
A fire broke out in the lunchroom, formerly the home economics classroom, Tuesday morning. The Rogers City Fire Department was dispatched to the scene around 9:20 that morning.
Upon arriving on scene, with all students evacuated from the building and taken into the elementary gymnasium where they were safe and warm, firefighters observed smoke coming from a room, located just to the west of the front entrance doors to the school.
Once they made entry into the room firefighters found a cabinet above an appliance on fire. Using a dry chemical extinguisher they were able to extinguish the fire. A few minutes later they removed the cabinet and the stove from the building and used fans to help ventilate the building.
Students were brought back one class at a time from the elementary school to gather their belongings before they were dismissed at 10:45 a.m. Students at Rogers City Elementary School as well as the parochial schools stayed for a full day in school. A separate, and smaller, bus run got students home from school safely.
No injuries were sustained as a result of the fire which fire chief Mike Kroll said “was a very good thing.”
“The evacuation procedures followed by the school worked magnificently. They did exactly what they were supposed to do. I give praise to the school staff and the students. Everything went beautifully,” said Kroll.
ROGERS CITY Area Schools superintendent Katy Makowski issued this statement. “It was a small kitchen fire in the secondary food service area. It was restricted to this area. Students and staff promptly exited the building in accordance with the safety drills we practice, and were temporarily housed in the elementary gymnasium. Staff and students did an excellent job, following the plan, making changes as necessary, and being extremely well-behaved. We thank the Rogers City Police and Fire departments and the Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department for their prompt assistance and quick response and keeping everyone safe at school,” said Makowski.
The home boys’ basketball game against Posen was held that evening, and high school staff remained at the building for the entire school day.