PALMER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Palmer High School remains closed after a fire early Saturday.

'Do Not Enter' signs are plastered along the entryway of Palmer High School two days after a fire broke out on the first floor.

Now, crews are left going in and out of the school cleaning up the mess.

Around 6:30 a.m. Saturday. crews from the Palmer, Three Rivers, and Bondsville Fire Departments responded to Palmer High School.

Officials said that the fire started on the first floor in a maintenance room.

"We encountered a small fire in that room. The biggest issue, at that time, was the smoke condition through the school. Fire was contained pretty quickly and then we were there for an extensive time to do the smoke removal," said Palmer Fire Capt. Sean Reynolds.

Reynolds said smoke traveled up all four floors of the building, prompting school officials to close the high school until it was cleaned up and safe for students and staff to return.

"The bigger back staircase, a lot of the smoke was able to travel its way up through there and then the way the corridors in the hallways are set up, the smoke made its way throughout there. The biggest thing we just tried to make sure all the floors had no carbon monoxide throughout the levels and the odor is the something the cleaning companies will take care of, but from our end, it was all zeroed out and no readings throughout the school," Reynolds explained.

The state fire marshal's office told Western Mass News the fire started from improper disposal of linseed oil soaked rags.

"You want to make sure you don't throw them in the trash. You want to make sure you don't throw them in your dumpsters. Always make sure they get dried out in a solid paint can that has no air flow into it," Reynolds noted.

A Palmer school committee member told us that they are now working with the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to figure out how they will move forward with missing these days of school.

For more information on how to safely dispose of oily rags, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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