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Mechanical Fire at MIHS Causes Students to Evacuate

McDowell Intermediate High School evacuated to McDowell Senior High School on Friday April 7 after a series of power outages is believed to have led to a mechanical fire, according to an email issued by McDowell administration.

After 11:50 a.m., the power flickered several times causing the building to run on its generator for about a half an hour. Power completely came back on around 12:05 p.m.

For a brief couple minutes, the building was calm, until the fire alarm sounded around 12:15 p.m. and students evacuated the building.

“In situations such as this, it is most important to clear the building quickly so that everyone is safe,” said Dr. John Cavanagh, MIHS Principal, in an email.

Firefighters from West Ridge and West Lake Fire Departments arrived quickly at MIHS to investigate and terminate any possible fires.

“Smoke was seen coming out of the mechanical closet near room 4-209,” Dr. Cavanagh  said. “A motor to one of the units had burned out because of the situation we had with the power going on and off at various points.”

After about 20 minutes of standing in the cold, students, faculty and staff were directed to go to the MIHS evacuation areas in the McDowell Senior High North Gym and auditorium until it was determined to be safe to return to the building.

Students returned to MIHS at 12:50 p.m. and had to stay in class an extra half an hour to allow students who originally had lunch during the time of the fire to eat.

About Kensley Semple

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