Reed City Area Public Schools Staff Puts Out Ceiling Fire

Students at a Northern Michigan High School used the emergency drills they practice throughout the year.

A fire started in the ceiling of a Reed City school.

Just before 7:30 this morning about 50 students who got to Reed City High School early had to evacuate.

Faculty and students at Reed City High School practice several times a year on what to do in case of an emergency.

But they didn’t think a light bulb would burst, making them use their drills on just the third day of school.

"You don’t really think you just react. Just have to take care of the situation at hand and the first thing is to put the flames out. You don’t want it to spread," said Paul Lewis.

For Paul Lewis, it started like a normal morning as the Facilities and Transportation Director of Reed City Area Public Schools. Until he got word the cafeteria ceiling was on fire.

"I was called this morning by the high school principal saying we had flames coming out of a vent in the cafeteria. I assessed the situation and found it was a light fixture that had caught fire," Paul Lewis said.

Paul ran, got a ladder and extinguisher, climbed up and put out the flames. Meanwhile the principal used the intercom to tell students to evacuate.

"When there’s flames you worry about it spreading quickly. And one of the fire department personnel told me it could take about 14 seconds to get really ugly so we are fortunate," said Monty Price.

Everyone is ok and lunch was still in the cafeteria. All thanks to the staff’s quick decision making.

"Very proud of our kids our staff and everybody came together and worked really well together and made sure everyone was safe," said Monty Price.

The students were outside for about 15 minutes until the fire department cleared them to go back in.