Fire at Windham Middle School forces students outdoors
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Tue., Nov. 15, 2011
A fire at Windham Middle School forced students to spend more than an hour outdoors during the school day on Nov. 14.
“There was a paper towel dispenser on fire and a sprinkler activation,” said acting Windham Fire Chief Marc Scrivener. The fire started in one of the girls' bathrooms, he said.
Scrivener confirmed that students had been outside for approximately one and a half hours. “I didn’t time it, but that seems about right,” he said. “We did keep them out for quite a while, because we had to clean up the water from the sprinklers and do an investigation.”
Asked whether the fire was set deliberately, Scrivener said, “I have to leave that to the fire marshal to decide. But you have a paper towel dispenser with nothing around it, you can come to your own conclusions.”
Although there was only one sprinkler head activated, Scrivener said that the building has good water pressure, “and there was quite a bit of water to clean up.” But once the water was cleared out and the investigation was complete, the students were allowed to return to the building and finish out their previously-scheduled half day of school.
“We got the sprinkler system back online, and reset the alarm system,” said Scrivener, adding that the maintenance crew at the school will need to replace the dispenser and the ceiling tiles that were damaged by the water. There was no additional damage to the building. “You have cement walls, metal stalls and a tile floor in the bathroom,” said Scrivener.
Asked whether there had been other incidents of deliberately set fires in local school buildings, Scrivener said, “I can’t think of any recently.”