Hannibal Middle School evacuated after small fire in boys locker room, but classes start on time

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A look at the back of Hannibal Middle School behind the gymnasium. The building was evacuated this morning after a paper towel dispenser caught on fire, and it was cleared for re-entry by the Hannibal Fire Department before school started at 8 a.m. | Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — A paper towel dispenser caught on fire this morning at the Hannibal Middle School around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday in the boys locker room. The building was immediately evacuated.

A press release from the Hannibal Fire Department said firefighters entered the locker room and found no active fire in the building. The locker room was filled with smoke, and the fire was extinguished by members of the school staff. The dispenser was removed from the building, and firefighters provided ventilation to clear smoke from the building.

The incident took place before school began for the day. The fire trucks and evacuated students and staff were in the parking lot while cars continued to line up in the drop-off area circular drive in the back of the school. Middle school administrators helped direct traffic assure parents they were safe to drop their children off for the day.

After a safety check by firefighters, the building was cleared for re-entry. The school day started at its usual time of 8 a.m.

Andrea Campbell, communications specialist for the Hannibal School District, said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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