Officials reported property damage but no injury after a kettle of tar caught fire on the roof of new gym construction at Otter Creek Middle School on Wednesday morning.
Photo courtesy Otter Creek Fire DepartmentFire crews respond Wednesday morning to a fire apparently caused by a tar kettle during roof construction on a new gym Wednesday at Otter Creek Middle School 4801 N Lafayette St, Terre Haute. No one was hurt.
The school was evacuated for about half an hour, said Bill Riley, VCSC director of communications. He described damages as “very minimal.”
A tar kettle machine that heats up the tar caught fire, he said.
The blaze happened about 10:24 a.m., and the on-site supervisor called 911, at which point the school was evacuated.
“The Otter Creek Fire Department responded and inspected the fire, and cleared students and staff to return to the building,” Riley said in a news release.
According to the Otter Creek Fire Department, crews responded just before 10:30 a.m. and when they arrived, they found light black smoke coming from the roof of the gym now under construction.
Mutual aid was requested from Terre Haute Fire Department Ladder 5 to gain access to the roof, Otter Creek said in a news release.
Otter Creek Fire Department “extinguished the fire that burned through the roof (from the inside). Once THFD Ladder 5 arrived, they quickly extinguished the tar kettle that was on fire on the roof,” Otter Creek firefighters said.
Also on scene was Trans-Care Ambulance, the VCSC safety and security division and the VCSC administration.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, said Taylor Hardy, Otter Creek public information officer.
He estimated an area about 4 feet by 6 feet was damaged. If the building construction had been finished, the damages could have been greater, he said.
Photo courtesy Otter Creek Fire DepartmentOfficials watch as fire crews respond Wednesday morning to a fire apparently caused by a tar kettle during roof construction on a new gym Wednesday at Otter Creek Middle School 4801 N Lafayette St, Terre Haute. No one was hurt.