The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

January 10, 2014

Fire at CHS closes Centerville schools

Centerville Fire Chief Mike Bogle says furniture located in the teacher’s lounge of Centerville High School caught fire Thursday afternoon. The fire prompted an evacuation of the high school and then an eventual district-wide early dismissal.

Bogle was unsure of what caused the furniture to catch fire Thursday. He said that the State Fire Marshall’s Office was called in to help investigate the fire, and were on their way as of Thursday afternoon. Also assisting with the fire investigation are the Centerville Police Department, Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office and Centerville Fire Department.

Centerville Schools Superintendent Tony Ryan, along with Bogle, confirmed there were no injuries in the fire.

The fire prompted an early dismissal at all of the district’s buildings. Ryan said the decision to close all schools as a result of the fire at the high school was made for transportation and consistency reasons in notifying the parents and transporting children from school.

“Collaboratively we discussed administratively … with being user-friendly with the buses and the transportation fleet that … it was best to dismiss all students at the same time and communicate with parents on a consistent basis,” Ryan said. “We try to do that on every cancelation for our parents because of daycare or what have you.”

According to office personnel and Centerville High School principal Roger Raum, after the initial fire alarm sounded, a teacher who was in the office went to check on the location. The teacher observed flames in the room identified as the teacher’s lounge and shut the door to the room. A secondary announcement was then made ordering an evacuation of the building, while law enforcement, the administration building and the alarm company were informed about the fire.

Bogle said that the teacher closing the door to the room helped contain the fire to just one room.

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