Bellaire, West U Fire Departments Respond to Fire at Pin Oak Middle School

May 8, 2012

The Bellaire and West U Fire Departments recently helped extinguish a fire at Pin Oak Middle School.

The Bellaire Fire Department responded to a water flow alarm at the school at 4601 Pin Oak Drive on April 25 at 1:25 p.m.

When firefighters arrived at the school, a maintenance worker said that a sprinkler head was activated and smoke was somewhere in the building, according to the incident report on file with the Bellaire Fire Department.

A firefighter found dark smoke coming out of a walk-in freezer in the cafeteria. The West U Fire Department was called for assistance.

After the fire was put out, firefighters entered the freezer and found that one of the blower units had caught on fire, burning the storage rack below the unit, according to the report. All of the wiring under the unit had also completely burned.

One of the sprinkler heads above the freezer did not go off when it caught on fire, but a sprinkler on the opposite end of the freezer did activate, the report said.

After an investigation, the fire department found that the fire may have started from an electrical short from exposed wiring.

The report also said that work had been done on the same unit the day before.

Pin Oak Principal Susan Monaghan sent a letter home to parents about the incident, saying that students were evacuated from the building for 45 minutes.

“Once the fire department gave the OK, everyone was allowed back in the building,” Pin Oak Principal Susan Monaghan said. “The students that had not eaten were fed, though it was later than normal.”

Monaghan’s letter to parents in its entirety is as follows:

“Dear Parents,

“Today at Pin Oak Middle School a small fire broke out in the back freezer in the cafeteria.  The students were removed from the building and the fire department was called.

“All students were evacuated from the building for approximately 45 minutes.   Once the fire department gave the OK, everyone was allowed back in the building.  The students that had not eaten were fed, though it was later than normal.

“I am very proud of our students and staff for reacting in such an orderly manner.  Everything went smoothly and without incident.  The Bellaire Fire Department complimented our students and staff on a job well done!

“If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

“Susan Monaghan, Principal”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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