Fire in boys restroom causes evacuation at Atascadero High School

A fire started in a trash can in an Atascadero High School restroom caused a campuswide evacuation for about 20 minutes Thursday morning, according to the city’s fire chief.

The fire started about 9:30 a.m. It was contained to the trash receptacle and didn’t extend into the walls, said Atascadero Fire Chief Case Bryson.

“The bathroom was fully charged with smoke and set off alarms in every campus classroom,” Bryson said. “But it didn’t extend beyond the contents of the trash can.”

Bryson said that the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Bryson said he didn’t know whether it started in a boys or girls restroom, but students on campus said it was a boys restroom.

Students gathered on the field until the fire was fully contained and smoke was gone from the restroom, and they returned to class, Bryson said.

Fire officials said the blaze caused about $500 in damage.

“The first arriving engine found a bathroom filled with black smoke,” Bryson said in a press release. “Fire personnel made access to the bathroom and found a small fire burning on the floor between two bathroom sinks. The fire was extinguished. Smoke was removed.”

Atascadero Fire Department responded to a fire in the bathrooom Thursday. Josh Tarica
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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.