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Student set fire from St. Martin de Porres High School washroom – CCSD

A fire set by a student in a boys' washroom at St. Martin de Porres High School resulted in the school's evacuation on May 5.

Students and staff at St. Martin de Porres High School were evacuated after a fire was set in one of the boy’s washrooms on May 5, resulting in heavy smoke conditions.  

According to a statement from the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD), staff were alerted to the fire, which was caused by a student, at approximately 10:20 a.m. The incident led to the evacuation of 670 students and 70 staff members.  

"Students and staff were evacuated as per the school’s emergency response plan,” read the statement. “Shortly thereafter, the decision was made to cancel classes for the rest of the day due to poor air quality in the school.” 

The statement read those who needed a ride home were escorted by staff to St. Paul’s Catholic Church, where Rockyview Transportation deployed buses to take them home. 

Upon entering the building, Airdrie Fire Department personnel quickly located and extinguished the fire, a City press release stated. According to the City, 13 firefighters and five fire engines were on scene. 

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined, but the Fire Prevention Bureau conducted an Airdrie Fire Prevention Bureau investigation to determine its cause. The next day, the City of Airdrie issued a statement indicating the cause of the fire was from a ‘set fire’ or arson.  

The statement indicated damages to the school are estimated to be approximately $20,000. 

The RCMP are continuing to investigate the situation but have advised there were no injuries related to the incident. 

“As a result of the air quality and to allow for cleaning of the building, classes were moved to online learning for the next day,” the CCSD statement continued. “At no time was there a risk to the safety of students or staff.  

“As always, the health and safety of our students is paramount to all members of our school community.” 

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