East Peoria Chief William Darin said no one was hurt and things went smoothly after a small fire was discovered in a men's restroom at East Peoria Community High School this afternoon.
Darin said the fire is suspicious in nature.
According to Darin, dispatch received a call from the alarm company at 12:34 p.m. after the sprinkler system went off at the high school. School officials called the fire department at 12:35 p.m.
When firefighters arrived, students and school staff were already evacuated from the building. Students were then put in the gymnasium for a short time.
The East Peoria Fire Department was assisted by Creve Coeur and Northern Tazewell Fire Departments.
A hose was brought in, but Assistance Chief John Knapp said the sprinkler system put out the fire in the restroom.
"The fire was in an area where there was a lot of plastic which causes heavy black smoke," Darin said.
The fire originated in a restroom in the cafeteria. Firefighters used large fans and opened the doors to get the smoke out of the cafeteria.
Darin said the cause of the damage is estimated at about $5,000.
"The sprinkler and fire alarm system worked perfectly," Darin said, "and the students were already outside when we arrived, so that was good."
"Our fire department did an excellent job," said school superintendent Chuck Nagel. "The teachers and kids did an excellent job of evacuating the building. They were out in two minutes."
Nagel added, "If we find out a person did this we will prosecute to the full extent of the law."
He added that school will take place as usual Friday morning.