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Fire at Metro Vancouver secondary school leads to closure

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A Metro Vancouver secondary school is closed Wednesday after a fire inside the building, but students will be returning to class on Thursday.

In a social media post Tuesday night, School District 42 said Garibaldi Secondary in Maple Ridge would be closed as officials assess the damage and ensure the building is safe for re-entry.

Firefighters got the call around 9 p.m., Maple Ridge Fire Department Chief Dave Samson told CTV News.

Upon arrival, crews saw smoke coming out of the building, and when they entered the school found the source to be in the kitchen area used for the school’s cooking program.

The more than 20 firefighters sent to the scene were able to contain the fire to the kitchen, Samson said, but it and the cafeteria received water damage from the sprinklers and fire hoses. Smoke got through to adjacent areas on the main floor as well.

Crews ventilated the building to get rid of the smoke and “worked extensively” to remove some of the water, the fire chief said.

Thankfully, nobody was injured in the fire.

The scene of a fire at Garibaldi Secondary is pictured on Tuesday, June 11. (Courtesy: Dave Samson/X)Samson said the fire appears to have originated in laundry baskets filled with kitchen linens, and the blaze is not considered suspicious.

He added the fire department will work with staff to determine what may have caused the fire.

In an emailed statement to CTV News, a school district spokesperson confirmed Garibaldi Secondary will be back open Thursday, but the cafeteria and kitchen will stay closed for the rest of the school year for cleaning and restoration.

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