Electrical problem prompts officials to close Henderson School for day
Published: September 26, 2012
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. CROIX - Education officials dismissed Alexander Henderson Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday because of an electrical problem at the school, but classes are set to resume today.
Firefighters responded to a fire alarm at the school at 6:27 a.m. Tuesday, sending two units and six firefighters from the Frederiksted station.
"When they got there, they noticed that there was no visible fire, but there was an electrical outlet that was blown out," said St. Croix Deputy Fire Chief Corey Kent, adding that firefighters smelled a "light scent of smoke."
They searched the school for any other signs of fire, he said.
"But everything was OK, and they got back to the fire station about 6:55 a.m.," Kent said.
School officials dismissed school at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as a safety precaution, according to a statement Education released Tuesday morning.
"There was smoke in the air and smoke coming out of the outlet. We just wanted to make sure everything was safe," Education Department spokeswoman Ananta Pancham said.
A licensed electrician was dispatched to make sure the school's electrical system was working properly, and Pancham said that electricity had to be shut down while he was doing his evaluation.
"In any kind of situation, it's better to be safe than sorry," she said. "Everybody wanted to make sure that the situation was given the proper assessment and the kids were safe."
The Education Department said Tuesday afternoon that classes at Henderson would resume today.
According to William Matthew, the St. Croix District's director of maintenance, rainfall the previous night had contributed to the problem with the outlet. Because of the rainfall, "we experienced low voltage to the school, which caused a problem with the outlet," he said in a prepared statement.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email email@example.com.