Missouri school fire causes classes to be cancelled as cleanup continues

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CREIGHTON, Mo. -- In school, you practice those fire drills but hope you'll never have to go through the real deal. But when a fire drill turns into the actual thing, at least you know you're prepared. That's what happened at the Sherwood Cass County R-8 School, which is about an hour southeast of Kansas City.

Instead of busy classrooms, the hallways are filled with air filters, hard hats, and caution tape. The students are taking a mandatory break from school.

“I'd rather not be on this vacation because it's sad that it happened,” said Kylie Orr, a freshman.

Orr stopped by the school with her mom to pick up her backpack and homework since class was interrupted around one on Tuesday afternoon.

During fifth period, the fire alarm echoed through the school and all 965 students and staff filed out of the school for what they believed was a fire drill. Everyone was out in seven minutes.

“They didn't tell us because they didn't want us freaking out,” said Orr.

She knew something was different about this fire drill when everyone was redirected to the football field.

Tim Gallagher, the superintendent, says he was proud of how fast students and staff reacted.

“Did a child pull a drill handle whatever, and then we saw a student reported smoke coming out of the locker room,” said Gallagher.

The flames sparked in a utility closet near the boy’s locker room in the high school. There was no structural damage, but the smell of smoke is everywhere.

“Kind of like an electrical smell,” said Charlene Orr, who got the call to pick up her daughter from school an hour after the evacuation.

Though school was let out early, it doesn’t mean students like Orr will slack off.

“I don't want to get bad grades,” she said.

The superintendent says school might be closed for the rest of the week. He says he hopes school will resume Monday. The cause of the fire is still unknown.