DICKINSON (AP) - A fire early Monday heavily damaged a Catholic high school in Dickinson, and the school may be closed for the rest of the year.
Firefighters responded to Trinity High School just after 1 a.m. after receiving a call about the fire alarms going off, KXMB television reported.
The building suffered heavy smoke damage throughout the school, extensive fire damage in the office area and structural damage to the ceiling above the office area, which is the floor of the library, said Dickinson Fire Chief Robert Sivak.
It took 29 firefighters and four trucks about two hours to put out the blaze. Sivak said the fire started in the main office but the cause is under investigation.
Classes were cancelled Monday, and it's unlikely that the school will be able to reopen for the rest of the year, said Monsignor Patrick Schumacher, chairman of the Dickinson Catholic School Board. The current plan is to have students take classes at the public schools or at the university, he said.
"This is a great community of support in Dickinson Catholic schools, as well as Dickinson public schools and Dickinson State University. I think the expression of charity that the other officials are showing us in our need, it's very overwhelming and heartwarming," Schumacher said.
"We will determine what caused it. We will re-build and we will be better and stronger, but right now we have a lot of work ahead of us."