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Custodian's cigarette sparks school fire

January 15, 2009
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NOKOMIS, IL — A North Elementary School fire likely originated from a custodian''s discarded but still-lit cigarette, according to The State Journal-Register.
Darold Johnson, custodian, district’s fire safety officer and assistant fire chief in Nokomis, admitted to smoking inside a storage room in the school that later caught on fire, the story stated.
Superintendent Chuck Stortzum said: "I’m about 98 percent sure it did start that way. Do I have scientific proof? No. But Johnson thought he did start it."
The blaze was contained to the basement storage room and was quickly extinguished; none of the 260 prekindergarten-to-fourth grade students were injured in the matter, the story noted.
The debacle resulted in a six-week unpaid suspension for Johnson; he is set to resume his custodial duties at the school on February 7, the story added.
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