SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) – An acetylene torch caught fire in a school maintenance room Friday, leading to a three-alarm fire, but the blaze was limited to the maintenance room where it began, a deputy fire chief said. No on was seriously hurt.

Students and teachers were away for winter break when the fire broke out at the Riverside Middle School late Friday morning, said Deputy Fire Chief Scott Richardson. About five maintenance staff were evacuated safely, he added.

Richardson said about 35 firefighters converged on the scene from Springfield, Chester, Bellows Falls and Ascutney, Vt., and Claremont and Charlestown, N.H.

Damage was minimal and limited to a maintenance room where the incident began, and school is expected to open as normal on Monday, Richardson said.

AP-ES-02-22-08 1848EST


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