Sound the Alarms

An issue with the elevator sparks an electrical fire at school


Nicholas Healy

Firefighters arrive at the scene Friday morning.

Just before the dismissal bell at the end of second hour, the fire alarms went off. Many students left thinking it was just a regular fire drill. However, a few students closer to the incident knew something was up.

“I was in a class in the basement, and the whole class started smelling like something really bad,” junior Kate Burnes said. “At first, it wasn’t bad, but it definitely smelled terrible after a few minutes. My teacher started investigating the room to see if anything was wrong. He then told us to grab our stuff and pack up. The alarms went off right after he said that.”

All students left the building and followed the standard fire drill procedure. They met up with their teacher and the rest of the class, making sure that everyone is accounted for. They waited patiently for the principals to finish ensuring that everyone was out of the building, then called everyone back to class. However, once first responders began showing up, students became aware that this was not a drill.

The firefighters could not see the damage, but black smoke was coming from the basement. They put the fire out and the smoke went away, allowing them to find the cause of the fire, junior Timothy Tresch relayed from his father, a fire captain in Florissant, MO, who owns a radio scanner used for communication.

The fire did not cause major damage to the school and was able to be contained quickly, but still, a reported total of seven fire trucks,the fire captain, two ambulances, the ambulance chief and Ameren arrived at the scene.

“No matter how big the fire is, smoke in the building is a major safety hazard,” Tresch said.

Although the events caused panic, worry and the assistance of the fire department, the school was deemed safe to re-enter, and both students and teachers resumed the day with a regular class schedule.