Firefighters enter at the back of Chemainus Secondary School during a Thursday morning fire. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Students evacuate safely after Thursday morning fire at Chemainus Secondary School

Numerous firefighters on the scene several hours, students sent home for the day

Firefighters remained on the scene several hours after putting out a Thursday morning fire at Chemainus Secondary School and students were sent home for the day.

“Arrangements are being made to contact all parents and transport students home,” confirmed Mike Russell, director of communications for Cowichan Valley School District 79, in a news release.

Classes have also been cancelled for Friday. The building will have to be cleared of smoke prior to any district staff going in to assess the damage.

The fire was reported at 9 a.m. and believed to have started in a second floor boys washroom.

North Cowichan Fire Department Chemainus members were on the scene immediately, backed up in short order by Crofton and Ladysmith with its ladder truck. Ambulance personnel as well as School District staff and Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, also attended.

Damage appears to be minimal and cause of the fire is not known.

All students evacuated the building safely and there were no reports of any injuries.

One teacher said a fire drill was just held last week at the school so students were well-versed in what to do. They assembled on the lower grounds of the former Chemainus Elementary School adjacent to the high school.

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Students assemble on the lower grounds of the former Chemainus Elementary School after evacuating Chemainus Secondary School during a Wednesday morning fire. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crofton fire department members roll out hoses at the scene of Chemainus Secondary School fire. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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