DARTMOUTH — A small electrical fire at the Dartmouth Middle School earlier this morning will cause an early release of students today, and trigger a remote learning day tomorrow.

According to Dartmouth Fire District 3 Chief Richard Arruda, an electrical outlet in the school's kitchen caught fire at around 7:40 a.m., but school staff members were able to put it out using a fire extinguisher.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonny Gifford said that all students and staff were evacuated to the nearby turf athletic field and then returned to the building once it was safe.

However, she said students will be released early today, with an 11:30 a.m. dismissal, and that Friday will be a remote learning day for all middle school students, because the school is unable to serve lunch while the kitchen is being cleaned.

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"The lunch situation is an issue because, due to COVID three-foot (distancing) restrictions, we have students eating lunch in various areas," Gifford said in an email to WBSM News.

Chief Arruda said that the fire caused no structural damage and the electrical outlet was made safe before students were allowed back into the building.

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