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May 16. 2013 10:35PM

Fire in Claremont Middle School of 'suspicious' origin

CLAREMONT — Police are investigating a small fire that broke out Wednesday at Claremont Middle School, Fire Chief Ricker Bergeron said.

“The fire is suspicious in nature and continues to be investigated,” Bergeron said.

Firefighters responded to the school at 11:30 a.m. when the sprinkler system was activated.

The fire occurred in the boys bathroom, off the boys locker room. It caused minimal damage and was controlled by the sprinkler system, Bergeron said.

“What is noteworthy here is that up until two years ago that building had not been sprinklered so it would have been a different story if they had not been in place,” Bergeron said.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office has been notified, but the fire is being investigated by local police and firefighters, he said.

Firefighters stayed on scene for two hours clearing smoke and checking the building, Bergeron said. There were some smoke conditions in the gym area.

Students were evacuated and spent time outside and in the cafeteria until they were released early at 1 p.m.

“Fortunately, the weather was decent; they were outside,” Bergeron said.

Students were able to come inside to eat lunch, he said.

April Woodman, assistant to the superintendent of SAU 6, said no one was injured.

“There was nobody in the area at that time, and it was more like a fire drill for them. … they were sent home,” she said. “Obviously it was a disruption to learning time.”

Students do not have to make up the lost hour of school time because it was an emergency, she said.

mpierce@newstote.com


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