A bilingual high school in Lachute will be closed to students Thursday after a major fire in its ventilation system.

The six-alarm fire in the French section of Laurentian Regional High School started around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when sparks from welders working in a ventilation room flew up to the roof.

The Lachute fire chief said the fire alarm did not go off inside the school and the alarm was manually pulled only after teachers started to smell smoke.

Over 100 firefighters from seven different communities were at the scene throughout the day, finally managed to put out the fire late Wednesday afternoon.

The school was evacuated without injury, and buses were brought back to school early so children could go home.

"I think initially everyone thought it was a fire drill, because it's the season when we come in and have our fire drills," Scott Morrill, a teacher at the school, told CTV Montreal.

"Our school board and our school responded fairly quickly to get our kids to a safe location."

There are 750 students at the school and many expressed concern they would lose what they had left behind.

Although the English side of the school was undamaged, all classes were cancelled for Thursday, and classes may only resume next week.

One parent told CTV Montreal the fire would cause upheaval for the students who won't be able to go to school in the building.

"It's going to have a big impact, I think, on their school year," he said.

Three firefighters were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.