Fire damage at Wheatland School confined to closet; school to proceed Thursday as usual

/Photo by Earlene Frederick

A fire in a custodial closet at Wheatland Center School Wednesday evening is not expected to curtail classes there Thursday morning, district administrator Marty McGinley said.

“We will have school as scheduled,” McGinley said in an email to westofthei.com Wednesday night. “Our staff and an outside contractor are onsite cleaning up the area.”

Firefighters were dispatched to an alarm at the school at about 5:30 p.m. Town of Wheatland Fire Department command activated a box alarm bringing in mutual aid from local and area fire departments.

McGinley said the fire appeared to be caused by electrical components connected to a battery charger. Damage was confined to the small custodial room.

Town of Wheatland Fire Department Chief Lou Denko said the charger was on top of a metal tool box and therefore the fire didn’t spread, though there was smoke in the building.

There was a Kids Club staff member and a student in the building at the time of the alarm, McGinley said. They were not in the area of the fire and were able to exit the building immediately.

“Thankfully, no one was injured,” McGinley said.

A sheriff’s deputy and school facility director Tom McCormack were the first to respond to the scene, McGinley said.

McGinley praised all of the first responders.

“We are lucky to have such great community partners,” McGinley said. “Their response was amazing and definitely limited the damage to the school.”

Here is an interview by Earlene Frederick with Denko at the scene, followed by more photos:

/Earlene Frederick photo

/Earlene Frederick photo

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