New Castle News

New Castle

March 12, 2014

Students dismissed early after fire

NEW CASTLE — New Castle’s Junior-Senior High School was evacuated Tuesday afternoon because of a fire.

No injuries were reported and the school will be open Wednesday.

Superintendent John Sarandrea said the New Castle Fire Department’s fans and the roof blowers managed to eliminate the smoke that was heavy in the building.

Mike Kobbe, New Castle’s assistant fire chief, said the blaze at the school on East Lincoln Avenue originated in a second-floor technology closet next to the computer lab. He said smoke was heavy and flames were evident in the hallway.

Firefighters, who were one block away at a medical call on Wallace Avenue, arrived three minutes after the fire call came in at 1:14 p.m.

Students evacuated the building and waited outside before being dismissed about 1:45 p.m.

Kobbe said the fire was caused by a short in a breaker panel in a electrical closet next to the computer lab. Sarandrea said the computer lab will be closed during the repairs. He could put no estimate on the damage but said it was not substantial.

Twelve firefighters and five trucks were on the scene about one hour and 45 minutes.

About 1,200 students attend the school.

Sarandrea thanked the city’s police and fire departments for their quick response.

“Thankfully it was a nice day,” he added, because students had to remain outside for some time. He said he decided to dismiss them early because of the strong smoke and electrical smell in the building.

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