New York’s Lockport — According to fire investigators, electronic tablets are to blame for a fire that damaged a Lockport school, estimated to have cost thousands of dollars.
The Emmet Belknap Intermediate School’s fire alarm was allegedly activated on the second floor at around 1 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Lockport Fire Department, who were called to the scene.
Fire crews entered the school when they arrived and used the fire alarm panel to identify the source of the alarm. Firefighters discovered that rooms 210 and 208 were where the alarm was set off.
The LFD claims that as the firefighters made their way upstairs, they encountered smoke filling the hallway. Firefighters said they found no active fire in room 208, although the room had more smoke than the hallway.
Fire crews said they came upon dense, black smoke banked down to the floor in the adjacent room, room 210. The fire was not visible through the smoke, but thermal imaging detected flames on a countertop area within the room, according to the fire department.
The LFD reports that the fire was swiftly put out by fire crews and did not spread past the original room.
No injuries were recorded during the two-and-a-half hours that fire crews were on the scene.
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The LFD reported that the fire, smoke, and/or water directly affected at least four rooms. The 20th of March was a holiday for classes.
After examining, fire investigators discovered the remains of about 18 electronic tablet-type gadgets that were thought to have been charged and placed tightly together at the time of the fire.
The air movement around the tablets, required to dissipate heat during the charging process, was constrained due to their proximity, according to fire investigators, which led to the batteries overheating and igniting.
Property damage is estimated at $200,000, and contents damage to $100,000.
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