The Norman Transcript

February 11, 2010

Fire in new auditorium at Southmoore High School

By Peggy Laizure

The Moore fire marshal is still investigating a small fire that occured shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday at Southmoore High School.

Susie Pierce asked school board members to call an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss insurance and restoration fees on the fire at Southmoore High School. She said about 20 auditorium seats were fire damaged the rest received smoke and water damage.

Two fire engines, a ladder truck, fire chief, assistant fire chief, fire Marshal and assistant fire marshal responded to the fire, said Gary Bird, Moore deputy chief.

"Everyone that was on duty," he said.

The fire was contained in the balcony area of the auditorium, Bird said. The sprinkler system was activated and had the fire under control by the time the fire department arrived and had the fire "pretty much extinguished," Bird said.

The school did everything right, he said. Students were evacuated safely.

Deputy superintendent Suzie Pierce said school was dismissed early Friday since it was near dismissal time. Normally school is dismissed at 2:55 p.m.

"Late this afternoon, smoke was reported in building and of course students were evacuated," Pierce said. "The fire was quickly extinguished and once the fire was out students were allowed to come in and get their belongings.

Pierce also said the auditorium had smoke and water damage but she did not know the extent but said everywhere else appeared to be okay.

Rick Storm, a junior at Southmoore, said he was in history class upstairs and across from the auditorium when he was dismissed.

"Three or four students were in the balcony of the auditorium during drama class when they noticed the fire and pulled the fire alarm," Storm said.

Cause of the fire is under investigation, Bird said.