Students dismissed after fire occurs at WHS

The Waconia Fire Department responded to a General Fire Alarm at Waconia High School on Monday, Jan. 7. Although there were no reported injuries, the incident resulted in the early dismissal of students.

According to Chief Mark Morse, the department received the call at 10:18 a.m. Assigned the department command vehicle, Assistant Chief Randy Sorensen was the first to arrive at the scene, at 10:25 a.m.

Upon arrival, Sorensen was notified that there was smoke in a first floor restroom in the southwest wing of the school, an area commonly referred to as “j-wing.”

Upon investigation, Sorensen discovered heavy smoke in a restroom and advised incoming units. Morse said the first engine arrived and two firefighters entered with a fire extinguisher and quickly extinguished the smoldering fire.

At the time of the fire, classes were in session and the building was evacuated. No injuries were reported.

And while no major damage was reported, Superintendent Dr. Nancy Rajanen explained that the fire produced an unpleasant odor that spread throughout much of the building and as a safety precaution, it was decided to dismiss the students for the rest of the day. The students were dismissed at about 11:45 a.m.

Rajanen expects things to be “business as usual” at the high school on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

“The fire is suspicious in nature and appears to have been intentional,” Morse said. “Fire Department Smoke ejectors were used to remove the residual smoke from the building. There were no reported injuries to anyone. The Carver County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.”