Triton & Rowley Fire & Police Departments

Fire Extinguished on Roof of Pine Grove School in Rowley – School Declared Safe to Open for the Day

ROWLEY — Fire Chief James Broderick, Police Chief Scott Dumas and Triton Regional School District Superintendent Brian Forget report that a fire was extinguished on the roof of the Pine Grove School Friday morning shortly before the start of the school day.

At approximately 8 a.m., a Rowley firefighter working a fire detail at the Pine Grove School, 191 Main St., reported a fire on the roof of the south wing of the school. Construction workers were doing welding work on the roof at the time.

The fire was able to be contained by the detail firefighter with the help of the construction workers before additional firefighters arrived.

Firefighters arrived on scene minutes later and were able to quickly extinguish the flames.

Due to the size of the building, the scene commander called for mutual aid and fire departments from Ipswich, Newbury and Georgetown responded, with the Topsfield Fire Department providing station coverage.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the temporary insulation on the roof ignited and there was no fire damage caused to the building itself.

Firefighters checked to see if the flames extended to anywhere else in the building and checked each classroom in the school for smoke conditions. All of the classrooms were clear and declared safe to use for the school day.

A construction worker suffered from smoke inhalation and was provided care at the scene by Action Ambulance personnel. The worker declined to go to the hospital. No other injuries were reported.

When the fire was first reported, school had not opened for the day and all school buses en route to the school were diverted to Saint Mary’s Church, across the street, and were kept there until the scene was cleared.

Those who were in the building at the time of the fire were evacuated when the fire alarm went off.

School was opened for the day at 9:45 a.m. and will dismiss at the normal time.

“This is a perfect example of why it is so important to have fire details at construction sites where welding or use of an open flame is being done,” Chief Broderick said. “Our detail firefighter was able to quickly alert the department that the fire was ongoing and helped to contain the flames while we were on our way to the school.”

Further roof work on the building has been suspended for the day and there will be a firefighter detail at the school for the remainder of the school day.

“At this point I am highly confident that students and staff re-entering the building are safe and it’s with that confidence that Chief Broderick and I have authorized them to re-enter,” Superintendent Forget said earlier today. “We do not anticipate any further disruption because of this event, but will be in touch if any details do change. The safety of our students and staff are a top priority so I thank you for your patience and understanding.”

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