A fire inside a Kildonan East Collegiate bathroom has been ruled an arson.

The fire, which broke out while classes were going on Thursday, forced the evacuation of the school and caused $500,000 damage, police said.

Classes are cancelled for the day and for Friday.

All students and staff at the school, on Concordia Avenue in Winnipeg's East Kildonan area, got out safely.

A spokeperson from the River East Transcona School Division said the fire was in the second-floor bathroom. There is smoke damage throughout the second floor but the fire damage is limited to the bathroom, the spokesperson said.

Students and parents are asked to check the division's website for updates about whether classes will resume Monday.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 204-986-6813 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).