An investigation into the cause of the May 10 fire at Proviso East High School concluded that the fire was possibly “electrical in origin,” said Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh on Thursday.

The fire started in a locked, unused office on the second floor of the main high school building, the chief confirmed.

Principal Tony Valente said Tuesday he was in the building for a drama performance at the second-floor theater and noticed smoke coming from the top of a locked door.

After pulling the fire alarm and evacuating theatergoers, Valente said school security guards tried to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

“But when we opened the door, the fire got some air,” he said.

Bronaugh said the security officers at the building should be credited for acting quickly.

“I want to thank the security staff,” Bronaugh said. “They were there to help patrons out of the play. If they didn’t report the fire quickly and didn’t help everyone get safely out of the building, the outcome could have been different.”

School opened up again Wednesday. Clean-up crews continue to work on 10 classrooms, including ones for English language learners and the chemistry labs, which were damaged by smoke, fire and water. 




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Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...