A fire broke out in the men's sauna of the Casper Family YMCA this afternoon.

The first staff member who found it was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center for possible smoke inhalation, said John Kirlin, the Y's school-age programs director.

"He came running out yelling 'fire' 'fire,' and from then, I hopped the counter (in the lobby), ran down there there and saw that, yes, there was smoke, and where it was coming from," Kirlin said.

A maintenance man grabbed a fire extinguisher in the locker room, and Kirlin returned to the lobby to fetch another extinguisher, returned to the men's health club downstairs, he said. "You could see maybe from me to you, four feet."

Kirlin opened the emergency exit behind the sauna for ventilation.

He notified the child care director who gathered the children outside. They were taken to First Christian Church, which has a day-care facility, Kirlin said.

He also ran into the gym where 15 to 20 people were playing basketball and got them out, he said.

An alarm sounded in the men's health club, but it was not attached to a central public address system, Kirlin said.

Capt. Patrick McJunkin with the Casper Fire-EMS said the investigation into the fire was continuing late this afternoon.

The fire apparently began in the men's sauna, which is an enclosed room lined with wood and has a heater. The damage to the sauna area was relatively significant, with smoke damage to the light fixtures, walls and ceiling.

"There was good distribution of smoke throughout the building, McJunkin said.

Investigators also are looking into whether the YMCA building needed a central fire alarm system, he added.