Crews respond to fire at elementary school in Rock Hill

Published: Apr. 29, 2016 at 5:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2016 at 8:30 PM EDT
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(Source: Rock Hill Fire Department)
(Source: Rock Hill Fire Department)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - A fire broke out at Richmond Drive Elementary School Friday afternoon, prompting an evacuation and a large emergency crew response.

The Rock Hill Police Department said the fire started at a bathroom building that was under construction around 1:45 p.m. The school is located on Richmond Drive in Rock Hill.

Investigators said workers were trying to hoist hot tar onto the roof when some of it spilled and ignited the fire. The flames impacted the building that was under construction and only spread to the exterior of the main building.

Firefighters said there was minor smoke damage in a few of the classrooms.

Students and staff were evacuated from the building, and parents were urged not to come to the school to pick up their children until all were accounted for.

Just before 2:30 p.m. officials confirmed that all the students were safely out of the building and being taken to Winthrop Coliseum, at 701 Oakland Avenue, where their parents could pick them up.

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From WBTV's Sky 3, heavy smoke could be seen coming from the building.

One section on top of the building appeared to be heavily damaged.

School officials said that because of the demand for buses while transporting the students to the Winthrop Coliseum, there could be delays for other students getting home.

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