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Park High School fire causes evacuation, minimal damage

Firefighters put out a fire started in the second-floor restrooms at Park High School Sept. 19. Courtesy of Cottage Grove Public Safety

COTTAGE GROVE — A fire started in the second-floor bathroom of Park High School led to evacuations and missed classes, but no injuries.

Cottage Grove Fire Department was called to the school just before 11:30 a.m. Sept. 19.

Police said a 16-year-old male student was responsible for the fire and that it was an "isolated incident."

The fire, contained mostly to a toilet paper roll inside a dispenser in the men's restroom, was quickly extinguished by staff. The fire led to a significant amount of smoke.

The smoke triggered a fire alarm, leading to evacuation of students per school district protocol.

Students stayed in the gym and activities center as smoke was ventilated from the building. Classes resumed around 1:20 p.m.

Fire Chief Rick Redenius said the fire was small and only caused a few hundred dollars in damage.

The incident is still under investigation, Public Safety Director Pete Koerner said.

"Nothing leads us to believe it was drug activity," Koerner said.

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