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In 1996, a construction fire damaged Hibbing High School and caused it to close down for a month[1]. The fire began on the second floor in the west wing science addition when a construction worker was cutting through support beams using a welding torch. A student smelled smoke and pulled the fire alarm; the rest of the students were informed of the fire at 12:20 p.m. Curious onlookers caused traffic problems, but the fire took only 45 minutes to control[2].

Smoke damage was done throughout the building; however, most of the damage was contained to the new addition and consumed mainly construction materials. The only person injured in the fire was twenty-one year-old firefighter Erik Jankilla, who was treated for smoke inhalation[3].

The project’s contractor was H.G. Harvey Constructors of Eveleth with Joe Arthurs as the building supervisor [4]. The $1.8 million addition was scheduled to continue until the fall of 1977.


[1] “Haunted Places in the World." H4unted.blogspot.com “Haunted Auditorium of Hibbing high School.” March 25, 2010

[2] “Hibbing Daily Tribune” 11-27-96. “Hibbing High School Fire”. Bill Coleman. 12-29-10 [3] “Hibbing Daily Tribune”

[4] Bill Lowry. Verbal. 12-7-10 [4] Bill Lowry. Verbal. 12-7-10

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