April 09, 2020

Fire damages teachers’ lounge at Guilford school

GUILFORD – A fire Thursday in a teachers’ lounge on the second floor of Piscataquis Community Middle School was believed to have been caused by a short in a wire to a vending machine.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is expected to be on site today to investigate the cause.

A staff member was treated at the scene by Mayo Regional Hospital ambulance personnel for what was believed to be smoke inhalation, according to Allen Emerson, assistant chief of the Guilford Fire Department.

The 2 p.m. fire destroyed the soda machine and charred the back of a wall, but little other damage was reported, Emerson said.

A sprinkler system in the school did not go off because the fire did not get hot enough, he said. A janitor quickly tried to extinguish the fire as pupils and staff members evacuated the building.

SAD 4 Superintendent Paul Stearns said the pupils and staff exited the building using the same procedures they use during routine fire drills. The school has had three previous fire drills this year, he said.

“It is reassuring to know that SAD 4’s emergency plan worked well and that we had a very timely and professional response from the fire department and rescue personnel,” Stearns said.

He said the district safety committee will review the event at a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

Stearns said buses were delayed 10 minutes, and athletic events scheduled for other towns were delayed slightly. School will be open today as usual, he said.

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