Two Winnipeg schools have canceled classes for Monday after a fire damaged a room in the building they share.
The fire department was called around 10:30 a.m. Sunday when a fire alarm sounded in the two-story building at 1900 Portage Ave., which houses St. James Collegiate and George Waters Middle School.
Smoke was seen coming from the building. Firefighters had to force their way through the front door to enter the building, where they found a fire in a room on the main floor, said Al Solinkse, a district fire chief at the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
The fire was under control by noon, according to the fire department.
A big concern was whether anyone was inside, Solinkse said.
“But when it was Sunday, it turned out that no one was there, so we were happy with the result – the fire was extinguished and no one was injured,” he told CBC News on the spot.
Solinkse said the fire was confined to one room, but there is smoke damage that “extends to above and up a little bit elsewhere.” No structural problems have been identified so far, he added.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The injuries are not known at this time.
In an email to CBC News, a spokesman for St. James-Assiniboia School Division that it informs families that there will be no school on Monday for students at George Waters Middle School and St. James Collegiate.
“We hope to have more information by Monday, December 20, by noon and will update families on the status and plans for the remaining two days of tuition,” the spokesman added.
Wednesday is the last teaching day before the holiday season, according to websites for both schools.
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