Authorities were called to the Siren Schools around 11 a.m. Tuesday after school officials heard the fire alarm sound and were alerted to a fire in the gymnasium.
"[There were] flames anywhere from one to three feet shooting out of the ceiling," said Siren School District Administrator, Scott Johnson, " We knew that the fire went from floor to ceiling at that point and it was starting to smoke really bad in the gymnasium. You could already smell it out in the main building."
No one was hurt as a result of the fire. However, damage to the building was extensive.
"It [the fire] did get into a couple of classrooms to the east of the gym," said Village of Siren Police Chief, Chris Sybers, "Also, there's smoke damage pretty much throughout the entire school."
The Siren School District was supposed to end for the summer this Friday, however Johnson thinks that the fire will cause the schools to remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
"Right now everything indicates that our end of the year came sooner than expected," said Johnson, "We have three days of school left this year for the students. There's no way we're going to get these kids back in there in that amount of time."
The students were evacutated from the school around 12 p.m. They were taken in buses to a nearby location, where they were picked up to go home.
With almost 600 people in the building at the time of the fire, school officials are thankful for the preparation they took in case of an event like Tuesday's fire. Johnson said the school just held a fire drill last week.
"You know you go through these fire drills all year long. You have to be careful that you don't become too desensitized to them. Students and staff did a really good job of getting out and staying calm," Johnson said.
Volunteer firefighters from five different departments helped fight the blaze, which authorities said took nearly four hours to put out.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Damage estimates are still being tallied.
Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.