BEND, OR -- Bend High was evacuated Tuesday afternoon, after a fire started in a culinary class oven. Investigators say a fiberglass cafeteria tray was "mistakenly used" to roast a pepper in the oven, rather than a metal baking sheet. The oven brought the tray to its ignition temperature and, since the oven door was propped open, black smoke and flames were seen coming from the appliance.
As the teacher was directing students out, an State Trooper - who was visiting another class - grabbed an extinguisher and put out the blaze. Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe said the call was upgraded to a structure fire because the blaze was initially tough to extinguish. "When we got here, it was pretty much out, but there was a bit of smoke, so we were just taking care of that." The oven is no longer usable, but no other damage was reported in the building. Fans were placed in hallways to rid the area of smoke.
Around 30 students were in the class at the time, but the entire school was evacuated. At the scene, Howe told KBND News, "All the kids were out here. They evacuated the whole thing, as per what they're supposed to do; so they did a good job. They went by the book, and if it had been a more serious situation, everybody would've been fine."