Fire in MCHS auditorium roof reported Monday night

Classes resume Tuesday with no delay


— Classes continued as usual Tuesday at Moffat County High School, hours after a fire burned inside the school's auditorium roof.

A school custodian reported the fire about 10 p.m. Monday, and Craig Fire/Rescue responded to the school with a complement of 28 firefighters. The cause is under investigation, Fire Chief Bill Johnston said.

The fire, which burned paper insulation wrappings, occurred in a 15- to 20-foot tall area above the auditorium's roof, and spanned the length and width of the roof, the fire chief said. It did not spread beyond the auditorium, he added.

Like the cause, the fire's origin point also is unknown, Johnston said.

"We gave it a look last night and nothing is obvious," he said Tuesday night. "It is not a simple cause investigation."

Firefighters extinguished the fire, ventilated the area and wrapped up at the high school at about 2 a.m. No one was injured, the fire department reported.

The fire department cleared the building for school Tuesday, as did the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and poison control officials, MCHS principal Thom Schnellinger said.

However, Schnellinger said a smoky smell remained in the building Monday, and some students complained. Concessions were made for students with respiratory troubles, he said.

"We've been really sensitive in that regard," Schnellinger said, adding that school officials are monitoring the situation and believe the smell will "dissipate the next couple of days."

It is unknown how much damage the fire caused to the school, or when repairs might begin.

"We will know more in the next week or so what it's going to mean," Schnellinger said.

The auditorium was scheduled to host guest speakers, a concert and the school's spring play in the next several weeks. It's likely those events will have to be relocated, Schnellinger said.

"At this point in time, I'm 90 percent certain it's going to effect events," he said.

However, high school administrators are determined to find a location for the school's spring play, the principal said. It is one of two productions put on by the school each year, and teachers and students work hard to put on the performances.

"We're going to be very creative and find a place to do this," he said. "The show must go on."


grannyrett 8 years, 1 month ago

DV8--Things like that are why they have insurance.


DV8 8 years, 1 month ago

I wonder when they will ask to raise taxes "fix the fire damage" so someone can get a raise again.


DV8 8 years, 1 month ago

I know that... Doesn't mean someone won't try to exploit the situation.


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