Huntley Project High School

Firefighters respond to Huntley Project High School on Monday after the school's air handlers overheated and sent smoke through the building. Content Exchange

Huntley Project High School's air handlers overheated Monday night, sending smoke through the building.

An electrical storm caused a power outage in Worden Monday night, which left the air handlers continually trying to kick on, said Worden Fire Chief Lance Taylor. The air handlers overheated and began to smoke.

A maintenance crew was in the building at the time and hopped on the incident as soon as they noticed the smoke, said schools superintendent Mark Wandle. Firefighters were called to the school around 6 p.m.

No one was injured, Taylor said. Only the air handlers were damaged, he said.

As of 7 p.m., firefighters were using large fans to air out the school.

The power outage also resulted in loss of electricity to the wells that supply water to nearby fire hydrants. Because of that, firefighters brought a water tanker to the school. 

By 7:30 p.m., power had mostly been restored to the town. It's not clear how extensive the outage was.

Worden and Shepherd firefighters responded to the incident.

On Tuesday, Huntley Schools will serve its summer meals at parks in town while crews continue to air out the school, Wandle said. 

"Sorry for the inconvenience but we want a chance to get the smoke smell mitigated," a post on the district's Facebook page read.

The school building is less than a decade old. Almost 11 years ago, Huntley Project's high school burned in an arson fire.

Arson fire

Four teens were charged and sentenced for the incident.

Gregory Dean Three Fingers was sentenced for arson by accountability and burglary to 16 years in state prison, with 13 suspended, in 2009. Michael Victoria III admitted to negligent arson, burglary and criminal mischief. He was sentenced to probation and restitution. Charles James McCade and Katie Jo Parshall, who were both 14 at the time of the fire, were sentenced in Youth Court to probation and fined.

The fire destroyed the building, and a new school opened to students in 2011.

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