Fire Damages Illinois School, Forces Evacuation

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A small fire forced the evacuation of an eastern Illinois elementary school but didn't injure anyone or cause serious damage.

Monticello schools Superintendent Vic Zimmerman told The News-Gazette ( in nearby Champaign that about 475 elementary and high school students were temporarily evacuated Thursday afternoon. The fire started in a Washington Elementary School bathroom. The elementary and high schools share a campus.

Monticello Fire Chief Rick Dubson believes the fire wasn't an accident. He said it apparently started in a toilet paper dispenser.

The bathroom was damaged and a room across the hallway had smoke damage. Some duct work was also damaged.

School officials said some nearby classrooms may also not be available Friday. | Tags:  school fire protection, elementary school fire sprinklers, institutional fire protection