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Update: Fire damages South Albany High School

Update: Fire damages South Albany High School


A fire broke out Tuesday night at South Albany High School, filling the gymnasium with smoke and drawing a crowd of onlookers.

No one was hurt in the blaze, according to Albany Fire Chief Shane Wooton, who said the call came in at 7:20 p.m.

Some 30 firefighters from the Albany, Tangent and Lebanon fire departments responded to the incident. Officers from the Albany Police Department were also on hand to secure the area and keep onlookers from getting too close.

Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames, which appeared to be contained to an area of new construction adjoining the main gym.

“At this point we believe the fire is out,” Wooton said about an hour after the initial call. “We’re checking the adjoining buildings to be sure there’s no spread.”

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday night, and police were treating the area as a potential crime scene.

Andrew Tomsky, a spokesman for Greater Albany Public Schools, said the high school would open on time for classes on Wednesday.

"School will be open as usual," he said. "It looks like we will not have access to the gym area."

An arson fire in 2015 destroyed the high school’s cafeteria, music rooms and cooking and child development classrooms.

Those facilities were rebuilt.

Meanwhile, work is nearing completion on a $13 million auxiliary gym in the vicinity of the spot where Tuesday’s fire broke out.

Reporter Bennett Hall can be contacted at or 541-812-6111. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.


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