Firefighters responded to an alarm at Frankfort-Schuyler Junior-Senior High School early Thursday morning, a day after members of the Frankfort Fire Department spoke to students about fire prevention and safety.
Now classes will be canceled for a second day because of it.
Frankfort Fire Chief Charles Conigliaro said firefighters were alerted through an alarm system at the school at 605 Palmer St. at 2:29 a.m.
He said the fire was located on the sub-level floor in room No. 256.
Conigliaro said the source of the fire was a dehumidifier inside the classroom.
“The fire was started by the appliance,” said Conigliaro during a telephone interview on Thursday. “It took approximately a half hour to put out.”
He said the classroom had “considerable damage,” including smoke damage.
“More time was spent after the fire was extinguished to do the overhaul,” said Conigliaro. He said this meant opening up the walls and ceilings to see whether there were any fire extensions.
The wall the dehumidifer was plugged into was torn up and the upper parts of the wall and the ceiling were covered in heavy black soot. Parts of the classroom’s wall plaster and insulation were piled on the floor Thursday afternoon.
The classroom is a computer technology classroom where the Project Lead The Way curriculum is taught, including introduction to engineering and design, principles of engineering, civil engineering and architecture, digital electronics and engineering design and development.
Some of the computers in the classroom were also covered in black soot.
Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District Superintendent Robert Reina said a BOCES technician would assess any damage to the computers.
Reina said he received a call at about 2:50 a.m. about the fire.
“The fire department was great,” he said, while reviewing the damage Thursday afternoon. “They got right in and put it out. That’s why it’s just this area.”
Reina said he didn’t have an estimate to the amount of damage done to the classroom. He said ServiceMaster Cleaning Services were to start with the cleaning up process at the school Thursday afternoon. Windows were opened to help air out the strong smell of smoke still lingering in the building on Thursday.
Reina said classes had to be canceled Thursday for students in grades 7-12 because of the smoke damage.
“We wanted the smoke to dissipate before having students come back,” he said.
Officials announced later in the day school would again be closed on Friday. Reina had said earlier Thursday afternoon he “hoped” to have school open Friday, but that “it really depends on how far we get with the cleanup process.”
Page 2 of 2 - School officials said, however, the homecoming dance was still on for Saturday.
Reina said when classes resume, classes inside the damaged classroom will be relocated for a few days until they get further along with the cleanup process.
This is the second and third time this year students at the junior and senior high have had classes canceled. A snow day was used on what would have been their first day of school Sept. 5 because of a power outage from a storm earlier that week.
Frankfort-Schuyler Elementary School students still had classes Thursday and were scheduled to attend Friday.
No injuries were reported.
Conigilaro said the Ilion Fire Department assisted at the scene.