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The Florence-Carlton School District will remain closed a second day Friday  following an early morning fire Thursday in the boy’s locker room.

The fire pushed smoke through a portion of the school building that required some cleaning afterward.

“We’re going to cancel school because we want to make sure the air inside the building is clean,” said Florence-Carlton Superintendent Bud Scully. “We are going to err on the side of caution. There is no sense in hurrying to reopen and have kids getting sick.”

Classes at Florence-Carlton School were cancelled Thursday after a fire was reported in locker room shortly after 7 a.m.

The cause for the fire has not yet been determined.

Scully said a maintenance worker was doing some electrical work in a nearby hallway. When he flipped the breaker back on, he heard some noise and smelled smoke.

When the man entered the locker room, he found a wooden locker fully engulfed in flame. Scully said he grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

“There was a lot of smoke,” Scully said. “The old gym was just full of smoke when I got there about 7:15 a.m.”

The fire doors in the building closed, which kept the smoke from filtering down into the elementary building.

Scully expects the school will be reopened by Monday.

“I was told that if we had 72 hours to scrub the air, we could reopen,” he said. “We are going to be cautious.”

The fire did cause some extra work for the school’s football team staff. Much of the team’s equipment was coated in retardant and smoke.

“One of our head maintenance guys, Tony Ey, was smart enough to catch on to (the fire) and put it out quick, so we owe him a big thanks,” said Florence football coach Pat Duchien. "It was mainly the retardant (that we had to wash.) There were four lockers that got pretty burned up. There was one set of equipment that was lost, but it was more just getting everything washed off, and getting the retardant off of it before we can get safe (to use)."

The Falcons are on the road this weekend. They play Shepherd at the Montana State University field in Bozeman.

Kyle Houghtaling contributed to this story.


Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.