A small morning fire inside a classroom at Donaldsonville Primary School on Thursday forced the evacuation and closure of the Ascension Parish public school for the day, parish school officials said.

Johnnie Balfantz, public school spokesman, said Thursday that 570 prekindergartners to second-graders were taken to the cafeteria at Lowery Middle School and fed lunch.

He said parents were sent telephone messages about 10:30 a.m. Thursday and that they could check out their children if they chose to do so, but students who remained would go home at normal school times.

Balfantz said classrooms in one wing of Donaldsonville Primary have stove-top burners that were originally built with the school.

Though never used, Balfantz said, a burner on one of the stove-tops in one of the classrooms was turned on and ignited the fire about 9 a.m. He said a janitor used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

Firefighters responded, and school officials decided to close the school for the day due to the smoke.

Balfantz said firefighters are trying to remove the smoke with fans while school officials clean up the residue from the fire extinguisher.

He said the fire caused minimal damage but the burners will be removed from the classroom where the fire happened and in others in the wing where the stove-tops were installed.

“We plan to have school tomorrow as normal,” Balfantz said Thursday.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter @NewsieDave.