YMS fire determined accidental

Yuma Hoops School of Basketball was in full activity Tuesday when everyone was sent outside as smoke filled the Yuma Middle School gymnasium.

Campers in grades sixth through ninth were participating in the annual summer camp when the smell of smoke started being noticed. Eyewitnesses said that at first it was thought there might be something with the wiring for the scoreboards. However, it quickly became apparent it was coming from the commons area outside the gym.

Camp leaders quickly ushered everyone outside, and adults gathered up as much of the campers’ gear as possible as smoke filled the gymnasium. No one was injured.

The Yuma Volunteer Fire Department, along with Yuma Police and Yuma Ambulance, arrived in short order.

The fire was kept under control, but the west part of the school building was filled with smoke.

A fire investigator and members of the YVFD and YPD spent several hours at the site Tuesday afternoon. Fire Chief Curtis Witte confirmed later Tuesday that the fire did start by the commons area. The Yuma Fire Department responded swiftly to the scene and successfully confirmed the fire had not spread and it was successfully extinguished. A certified state fire investigator was called in to assist with the investigation. After a thorough investigation it was determined the fire was ruled as accidental.

As for the basketball camp, camp coaches were able to get all the basketball and other gear. The afternoon’s session was held in the Yuma High School auxiliary gym, where the final day of the three-day camp also was held on Wednesday. Ironically, the School of Basketball normally is held earlier during summer vacation, but had to be rescheduled this year due to conflicts.