IFD: Fire breaks out at Indianapolis school during fire safety presentations


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A fire broke out at a school on the south side of Indianapolis while nearly 50 people were present for fire safety presentations, according to the Indianapolis Fire Department.

Shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, the fire department was called to St. Jude Catholic School at 5375 McFarland Road.

IFD says two Boy Scout troops — ages kindergarten through second grade — were in the cafeteria for fire safety presentations. 19 children and 30 adults were inside at the time of the fire.

A kindergartener noticed black smoke and alerted his troop leader, according to IFD.

When firefighters arrived, they saw no visible fire. It took 10 minutes for firefighters to find the source of the smoke, which was a second floor storage room, IFD says.

The fire department says while the fire in the room was minuscule, it did create a large amount of heavy, black smoke, which traveled throughout the building.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, and investigators believe it was caused by the spontaneous combustion of a pile of decorative straw.

No injuries have been reported in this incident.

St. Jude Catholic School says while the damage was minimal, kindergarten through eighth grade will be closed Tuesday for clean up. They anticipate being able to resume classes as usual Wednesday.

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