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Fire Officials Say South Albany High Blaze ‘Not Suspicious’

Albany Fire Department

Fire officials say a non-injury blaze at South Albany High School this week does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

The fire broke out Tuesday evening in an area of the gym that was under construction. A youth basketball team that was practicing elsewhere in the building was able to evacuate safely. While the gym remains closed, classes elsewhere at the school have continued without interruption.

The Albany Fire Department says an initial investigation did not show anything about the fire to suggest it was set on purpose, but that a final cause determination would be released sometime in the next month.

The incident brought back memories of another fire at the same school four years ago. That blaze destroyed a building that housed the cafeteria and band and choir rooms. A 28-year-old Albany man pled guilty to arson in the case.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”