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Fire at Vermillion High School damages chemistry classroom, storage area

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VERMILLION, S.D. -- Classes at Vermillion High School were canceled for the day, after a fire broke out in a chemistry storage area.

The Vermillion Fire EMS Department said in a statement that the fire caused "extensive smoke damage" to the chemistry storage area, as well as the chemistry classroom. Some nearby hallways and classrooms suffered "minor smoke damage."

At 6:34 a.m., the Vermillion Fire EMS Department responded to an activated fire alarm at the high school, 1001 E. Main St.

Shortly after the alarm was automatically activated at the school, a custodian in the building noticed smoke in the hallway and called 911, according to the statement.

When Vermillion Fire and EMS units arrived on scene, fire personnel advanced hose lines, identified smoke in the hallways, and located a small fire in the chemistry room storage area. The small fire was promptly extinguished with less than 100 gallons of water, according to the statement. Fire personnel then began to ventilate the area.

Due to the location of the fire and chemicals involved, fire command requested assistance from the Sioux Falls Fire hazardous materials team.

The statement said a custodian and a small number of students and advisors were the only occupants of the building at the time of the fire. All occupants safely evacuated the building immediately after the alarm sounded. No civilians or first responders were injured during the incident, according to the statement.

Phone lines to the high school and middle school were down for a short period, but have since been restored. Extracurricular activities have not been suspended at this time. The statement said further information about Friday's schedule will be released via the campus messenger and on social media.

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