Cause of Joliet High School fire unknown

2011-11-09T11:36:00Z 2011-11-09T21:35:08Z Cause of Joliet High School fire unknownBy CHELSEA KROTZER Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
November 09, 2011 11:36 am  • 

Fire likely burned any evidence that would suggest how a section of the Joliet High School roof caught fire on Tuesday night, leading to an evacuation and cancellation of a middle school basketball game.

Superintendent Jeff Bermes said the school's new gym started to fill with smoke during a seventh- and eighth-grade basketball game.

"We investigated and found out there were flames on the roof adjacent to the new gym," Bermes said. "The athletic director and myself grabbed the fire extinguisher in the gym and ran up to put it out."

After knocking down the flames, which were burning in the roof where the school's new gym attaches to the original building, fire crews from Joliet, Edgar and Roberts arrived to tackle hot spots and clean up.

Bermes and athletic director Brice Turk were able to get to the fire from an access on the roof. The gym was evacuated.

"It didn't last very long since they put it out with a fire extinguisher," Joliet Volunteer Fire Chief Melvin Hoferer said.

Hoferer said the cause of the fire will likely remain unknown because most of what would be evidence was burned.

"It was pretty contaminated by the fire," Hoferer said. "We just don't really know what happened."

The fire is under investigation. In the meantime, Red Lodge and Joliet middle schools will reschedule Tuesday night's canceled game.



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