Fire alarm malfunction shuts down high school during Homecoming weekend

Tue, 10/18/2016 - 10:15am

    Boothbay Region High School was evacuated Friday afternoon during Homecoming weekend when a malfunction of the school’s fire alarm system was discovered.

    “The sprinkler systems and the intercom worked, but if someone had pulled the fire alarm, it would not have sounded,” said Eileen King, superintendent of Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98, which covers the Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor districts.

    “We immediately contacted the State Fire Marshal’s Office to report the malfunction, and we followed their procedures,” said King.

    According to an email to the Superintendent’s Office from Gregory Day, an inspection supervisor for the Fire Marshal’s Office, procedures regarding the alarm failure required the school to bring a firefighter onsite to perform a fire watch throughout the building while it was occupied. Since the decision was made to shut down the building on Friday afternoon during Homecoming week, the high school was locked down for the weekend. All activities concerning Homecoming were moved to the nearby elementary school.

    The high school resumed classes on Monday, following Fire Marshal procedures. Both the Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor fire departments were notified and a firefighter was assigned a watch, carrying a phone and a portable radio in case a 911 emergency call needed to be placed. Safety checks were made hourly and these checks were logged. By Tuesday, the fire alarm malfunction was repaired.

    “The part for the alarms came in on Monday, the replacement was made, and the alarms are now back, in good working order,” King said.