A small fire at Mason High School caused students and the attached community center to evacuate around noon on Tuesday. Classes and all after-school activities were canceled for the rest of the day, and 3600 students were sent home. “The dust collector in our computer aided design, or CAD classes, is where the fire started. Thankfully no injuries, no one was hurt, but it did create quite a bit of smoke,” Mason Schools spokeswoman Tracey Carson said.
The fire activated the school’s sprinkler system and was extinguished quickly, Carson said, but afterward there were elevated levels of carbon monoxide. Students said smoke filled the hallways quickly. “I was walking back from lunch, and I was going to my next bell’s class, and all the doors shut, so I was like, ‘Why are they shutting, maybe we’re just having a fire drill,’ and then it smelled really bad, and I saw a ton of fog, and I ran outside,” student Natalie Mishu said. “I was at the top level, and I was walking down the stairs, and I started to smell it more, and it was just full of smoke down there,” student Jacob Nusser said.
Students who were in the CAD classroom said classmates and their teacher acted immediately. They said someone pulled the fire alarm while others grabbed fire extinguishers. “Our teacher was very good at handling the situation,” student Elric Nijakowski said. “Yes, he was very prepared,” student Eric Vermillion said. No injuries were reported. By 4 p.m. the district was given the all clear.