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Local

Genoa: Nearby fire forces evacuation of autism center

People exit the Northwest Center for Autism pn Wednesday in Genoa after smoke from a garage fire nearby at 209 W. First St. drifted toward the building. Many of the people leaving the building were wearing masks to avoid breathing in the smoke.
People exit the Northwest Center for Autism pn Wednesday in Genoa after smoke from a garage fire nearby at 209 W. First St. drifted toward the building. Many of the people leaving the building were wearing masks to avoid breathing in the smoke.

GENOA – Students were dismissed from school Wednesday afternoon at the Camelot Northwest Center for Autism after a nearby detached garage caught fire.

Smoke from a fire in the 200 block of West First Street led to the evacuation of the nearby center at 123 W. First St. and the eventual dismissal of school, according to police officials on scene.

The call for the fire came in about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, and students could be seen leaving the school wearing masks.

Genoa Police Chief Robert Smith said the fire started in a large detached garage at 209 W. First St. He said no one was hurt in the fire.

“It’s basically contained to the property,” Smith said. “It didn’t spread anywhere.”

Genoa Fire Chief Bruce Kozlowski said Genoa police officers were first on the scene. He said the general alarm from the initial call hasn’t been raised.

“I don’t imagine it’s gone much farther than the garage,” Kozlowski said.

Smith said it’s protocol to keep automatically calling for additional emergency response units, which is why it looks like the situation might have been larger than it actually was.

Smith and Kozlowski said the cause of the fire is unknown, and it’s unclear what the extent of the damage is from the fire.

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