Classes Canceled at Lincoln High School Due to Small Fire Monday, Students Back to School Tuesday


Crews respond to fire in bathroom at Lincoln High School on Nov. 18, 2019. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A small fire in a bathroom at Lincoln High School forced the building’s evacuation Monday morning and classes were canceled for the rest of the day.

School officials said the fire started in a first-floor boys bathroom before 8:30 a.m. and the school’s sprinkler system turned on and put out the fire.

So there’s some water damage, some smoke damage and minimal amount of fire damage in the bathroom. Probably be some structural damage to the walls that will have to be replaced due to the water and the smoke,” Des Moines Fire Lieutenant Chris Clement said.

The Des Moines Fire Department said the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Phil Roeder, with the Des Moines Public School District, said they were able to identify the student involved and they could be facing disciplinary action.

“The police department and our SRO responded very quickly to find out who the person was behind this. Staff was working with authorities both to make sure students were safe, but also helping to identify who they thought triggered this as well. It was a good team effort,” Roeder said.

Students and staff were allowed into the Roundhouse and Commons while fire crews responded.

Roeder said students will be back in class on Tuesday.

“Because the bathroom fire was on the front part of the school, things like the gymnasium and all that are on the backside of the school and pretty far away from where any smell is. So activities are going to go on at school as usual and we expect the clean up for the most part to be completed today and classes will start back up at 8:30 tomorrow morning,” Roeder said.

Students will have to make up the school time that was lost on Monday, but Roeder said they might not be able to start making it up until after the holidays.

“We’ll sit down and look at the hours, look at the calendar and make sure the time we lost today gets made up appropriately and get on with the rest of the school year,” Roeder said.


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