No one injured in ‘weird’ shed fire Monday evening at Riverton Middle School; class in session Tuesday

    (Riverton, WY) – No one was injured but a shed and its contents were destroyed in a Monday evening fire at Riverton Middle School.

    The school structure also sustained damage as a result of the blaze, Riverton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jake Blumenshine said Tuesday, estimating that the shed stood about 10 feet away from the building.

    Despite the damage, classes were held Tuesday, according to a message from school administrators to parents.


    “An external shed structure behind Riverton Middle School caught on fire around 9:30 p.m.,” the message states. “The fire marshal has inspected the building and grounds and has given us the green light to have school as usual. The area has been fenced off and students will be away from the fire area.”

    Protect the school

    When he arrived at the fire scene Monday evening, Blumenshine said the shed was “fully engulfed and was blowing flames against the (school) building pretty hard and was starting to break the windows out of the school.”

    “The flames were shooting higher than the school,” Blumenshine said. “There was potential to be a lot of damage, even though it was just a wood shed.”

    To protect the school building, Blumenshine directed firefighters to “concentrate on getting the side of the school cooled off … before actually attacking the shed.”


    “I was concerned (about) the possibility of what it could have done to the structure, being right next to the school, and that much heat,” he explained.

    Once firefighters turned their large-diameter tack lines on the shed itself, Blumenshine said the fire was out in about 15 minutes.

    “It was pretty quick,” he said, adding that there was “no immediate danger to anybody” at the scene.


    About 14 firefighters responded to the blaze in three fire trucks, Blumenshine said, including the RVFD ladder truck, which was used to inspect the roof of the school to ensure “we had no fire extension on the roof.”

    Fire crews cleared the scene around midnight, Blumenshine said.

    Dry shed

    The shed and its contents – storage items like school desks and filing cabinets – were a total loss, Blumenshine said, adding that “it is weird that the shed caught fire, a shed with no power in it.”


    “It’s kind of a weird scenario,” Blumenshine said. “(But) I can’t tell you if it was arson.”

    The case has been turned over to the Wyoming State Fire Marshal’s Office, which confirmed it is investigating the incident with the Riverton Police Department.


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