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Gym Floor Sanding Equipment Starts Fire

Andy Berg

Marshall (Minn.) High School is cleaning up after a piece of equipment used in sanding the gymnasium floor started on fire.

The fire didn’t do a lot of damage but there is plenty of smoke and soot to clean up.

The Marshall Fire Department responded to alarms at the school around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday. Crews discovered the piece of equipment on fire in an emergency exit near the north gymnasium during a walkthrough of the building.

“It was pretty much confined, for the most part, in that area,” Marshall fire chief Quentin Brunsvold told The Marshall Independent. The emergency exit area also included a stairwell leading up to the mezzanine around the two high school gyms.

The school is in the process of repairing water damage caused during spring snowstorms when snow got into the gyms through the school’s air handling systems, and the moisture warped the floorboards. The piece of equipment that was on fire had been used earlier in the day in the process of sanding and refinishing the gym floor. It was directly beneath fire sprinklers but didn’t get hot enough to trigger the system.

No information was immediately available on what caused the equipment to catch fire.

Dion Caron, director of business services for Marshall Public Schools, said cleanup might be limited to getting smoke smells out of the gym area.

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