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Doherty High School to be closed for second day after two small fires

May 11, 2017 Updated: May 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm
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Doherty High School will be closed for a second day Friday after two separate incidents filled the building with heavy smoke.

School was canceled about 7:50 a.m. Thursday after staff members entered the building to an acrid smell and smoke, said Devra Ashby, District 11 spokeswoman. A piece of wood had smoldered in an art room's kiln and burned nearby plastic, she said. Students were already at school and had to be sent home.

Hours later, shortly after 11:30 a.m., a dryer in the laundry room behind the wrestling room caught fire, adding to the smoke in the building, Ashby said.

The school, at 4515 Barnes Road, will be closed Friday for ventilation and cleaning.

District administrators and facilities staff conducted "a thorough walk-through of the building" before making the decision to close the school for a second day, according to a district statement.

"We didn't want to take any chances," Ashby said. "We know that we have staff and students in the school with respiratory conditions."

One male staff member was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for smoke inhalation, but his injuries do not appear to be serious, Ashby said.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department responded to the school twice Thursday, spokesman Steve Wilch confirmed.

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Contact Ellie Mulder: 636-0198

Twitter: @lemarie

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