Small fire forces evacuation of JDHS construction workers

2 workers treated at Bartlett after trying to douse fire caused by smoldering piece of pipe that had been cut with a torch

Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2003

A small fire midday Friday at Juneau-Douglas High School during its renovation sent two construction workers to the hospital, but didn't cause serious structural damage, officials said.

Students, on winter break, were not in school during the fire. About 60 workers from Coogan Construction were evacuated for an hour.

Two workers, a woman, 19, and a man, 50, were treated at Bartlett Regional Hospital for smoke inhalation and released in the afternoon, said hospital spokeswoman Marijo Toner.

The two tried to douse the small blaze that had erupted in a first-floor wall, said volunteer Fire Chief Max Mielke. Their names were not released.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze after the building was evacuated, Mielke said.

The fire started when a smoldering piece of steel pipe cut with a torch on the second floor fell into the first-floor wall and burned several wooden studs and plastic pipe, Mielke said.

Though an estimate was not available immediately, company owner Lloyd Coogan said the damage was minimal and would not delay construction or the return of students to classes on Monday.

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