The Londonderry Fire department responded to what Battalion Chief Jim Roger described as a “very small” fire in a second grade lavatory at Matthew Thornton Elementary School.
The fire occurred at 9:47 a.m. Tuesday, April 8.
“We responded to a fire alarm activation and we were notified that there was a fire in the second grade boys lavatory,” he said. “It was a very, very small fire that was pretty much self extinguished. All we had to do was provide ventilation to get rid of the smell, and after that our fire prevention department – Brian Johnson – worked together with the school administration to find out exactly what happened and investigate. It is still under investigation.”
Roger said a boy was going to use the bathroom but when he opened the door, he saw the smoke and alerted a teacher, who pulled the fire alarm.
“The interaction was very good between the fire department and the school district,” Roger said. “They did everything they should. They had good accountability of all the students and good control of the situation.”
Roger said the building had been evacuated by the time fire crews arrived.
Assistant Superintendent Andrew Corey said the school practices fire drills on a regular basis but at the same time, there is a difference between a practice and an actual event.
“We’re required to practice once a month with the fire department,” he said. “The kids and the staff did a tremendous job. They were out of the building – each classroom brings out a backpack with snacks, water and items that the children would need if the event lasted longer. This wasn’t the case; the children were back in class in 20 minutes, and that includes the time the alarm went off, the evacuation, attendance and receiving the all clear from the fire department to return to class.”
Corey said that they took the practice drill “and put it into reality.”
He said there were no injuries, and parents were notified of the incident by e-mail.