CALUMET CITY | Students at Dirksen Middle School had to be evacuated just before 9 a.m. Tuesday due to a small fire in a second-floor office that started in a desktop computer, Calumet City Fire Chief Bill Galgan said.
No one was injured but one child who had difficulty breathing was transported to a hospital. Students and staff were already out of the building by the time firefighters arrived at the school at 1650 Pulaski Road, Galgan said.
The fire started at 8:54 a.m. and firefighters from Calumet City, Lansing, Dolton, Thornton and Homewood responded to the scene. South Holland firefighters covered the station for Calumet City.
While the fire was put out in about five minutes, the school needed ventilating due to smoke and firefighters spent about an hour and a half at the scene. What actually started the fire is still under investigation, which will be conducted by the school district and state fire marshal's office, Galgan said.
Galgan said Dolton School District 149 had the students sent to the Sandridge Fitness Center, 600 Oglesby Ave., and Carol Moseley Braun School, 1655 153rd St., due to the smoke damage in the building. He said it will be up to regional school officials to decide when to reopen the school.
A message left for District 149 Superintendent Shelly Davis-Jones was not returned Tuesday.
Galgan estimated physical damage to cost a couple of thousand dollars but cleanup due to smoke damage could cost tens of thousands.
"There was quite a bit of smoke in the building," he said.
Galgan estimated the school has about 1,000 to 1,500 students.