Fire forces two-day closure of Chemainus high school

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At least one student was forced to run from Chemainus Secondary School on Thursday morning after a fire broke out on the second floor of the building.

Just after 9 a.m., the Cowichan Valley School District reported that a fire had sparked inside the mid-Island high school. It’s unclear exactly where the fire began, but district officials say it originated on the second floor. 

Much of the school quickly filled with thick, noxious smoke, forcing a complete evacuation of the building. 

“The building will have to be cleared of smoke prior to any district staff going to assess the damage,” said district spokesperson Mike Russell. 

There are no reports of injuries, according to the district. 

Students quickly flooded onto the front lawn of Chemainus Secondary where they were told that school would be cancelled for the remainder of the day and Friday.

One pupil told CTV News Vancouver Island that he ran from the building as smoke began to choke classrooms and hallways. 

Parents were called to pick up students and bus service was arranged for anyone needing it. 

As of 11 a.m., district officials say the fire is out and all students are accounted for. 

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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