By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — In-person classes were canceled at Highland Park High School after a small fire took down the WiFi Friday morning.

The school will continue Friday with an asynchronous day for classes.

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School officials said there was a small fire in a closet near the library around 4 a.m.

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“The fire was contained to the closet but it did bring down the wi-fi leaving us unable to run classes on campus,” Principal Debby Finn said in an email to the school community. “Thankfully, no one was hurt. The fire was contained to the closet but it did bring down the wi-fi leaving us unable to run classes on campus.”

According to Superintendent Bruce Law, inspectors said the fire was most likely caused by a lithium battery pack.
Smoke filled the school’s halls and debris from the heat affected nearby areas that house “critical IT and operational infrastructure,” Law said. Smoke and fire detection systems were also knocked out as well as telephone service and the public address system. Those systems were expected to be restored by Monday.
Smoke from the fire also affected air quality in the building. Mitigation efforts began Friday morning, but tests were not yet available to assure air quality meets EPA standards.

No injuries were reported.

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The status of in-person learning at HPHS on Monday will be determined Sunday by noon, according to a release from the district. If in-person learning is not possible, school staff will be available from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for students who need anything from the building.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff