Commercial Fire at Kennedy Elementary School, 4912 Noren Ave NE, Keizer, ORWednesday, March 06, 2013
At 10:44 a.m. today crews
from Keizer Fire District were dispatched to a report of a commercial fire at Kennedy Elementary School, 4912 Noren Ave NE in Keizer. Initial reports to Willamette Valley Communications Center indicated that the fire was contained to a large industrial oven inside the kitchen. At the same time the school was calling 911, the schools fire alarm system activated. A Keizer Fire Medic Unit had just cleared another call and were on scene within two and half minutes of dispatch and the first arriving engine crew were on scene within four and half minutes. Crews reported a light haze of smoke in the main hallway. Upon entering the kitchen firefighters found the fire and extinguished the flames coming from the industrial oven's control panel and electrical wiring. Fire crews remained on scene for about thirty minutes to assist with removing smoke from the building.
A Keizer Fire District fire investigator was called to the scene and determined that the cause of the fire was a malfunctioning appliance, and was electrical in nature. Damage was limited to the large industrial oven and scorching of the adjacent wall. Firefighters reported that the school had been evacuated prior to their arrival, and Principal Terry Gallagher stated that the evacuation went smooth without any issues. School staff reported that there were approximately 440 students and 50 staff members in the school at the time of the fire. Students were eventually relocated to the school gymnasium while staff continued airing out the school and preparations were underway by food services to bring in sack lunches for the students lunchtime meal.
Damages were estimated to be approximately $10,000 to just the oven alone.
Schools are required to have fire drills monthly and at the first of the year within the first 10 days of the start of the school year to be prepared for emergencies such as the one today. The Keizer Fire District works closely with all of the schools in its response area.