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Dec. 8, 2005

Fire triggers second evacuation within 24 hours

by Varun Gulati, Page Editor and Christopher Consolino, Page Editor
A third fire in two days occurred this morning in the girls' bathroom in the 250s hallway, triggering the second building evacuation since yesterday afternoon.

The fire alarm rang at 7:54 a.m., and students were evacuated to the stadium in 25-degree weather. Three fire trucks and one medical unit arrived at Blair while a news helicopter hovered near the stadium. By 8:40 a.m., students were escorted from the stadium into the SAC, gym and auditorium.
Students wait in the stadium for further instuctions during the fire evacuation on Dec. 8. Ariana McLean
Students wait in the stadium for further instuctions during the fire evacuation on Dec. 8.


According to standard procedure, direction of the building was turned over to the fire marshal upon the fire department's arrival, said Assistant Principal Patricia Hurley, but was returned to school administration by 9:15 a.m. Students were then dismissed to retrieve their belongings from their second-period classes at 9:15 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., students were in their fourth-period classes. Fourth-period classes normally held in the 250s hallway have been moved to the SAC and Media Center.

Before the fire alarm sounded, social studies teacher Brian Hinkle remembers hearing someone yell "fire!" outside of his classroom, room 254, during an announcement by Hurley regarding yesterday's fires. "Right when they made the announcement, someone yelled in the hallway, 'There's a fire in the girls' bathroom!'" said senior Ngoclan Nguyen, a student in Hinkle's second-period class.

After the building was secured, students were escorted from the stadium into the SAC and gym. According to Blair Safety Officer Mark Curran, students were asked to file into the building past two administrators and police officers stationed at the two exit gates to the stadium. "They were able to locate students who had information on today's and yesterday's fires," he said.
Blair administrators discuss the fire situation with police during the evacuation on Dec. 8. Diana Frey
Blair administrators discuss the fire situation with police during the evacuation on Dec. 8.


Students were not permitted to return to their first-block classes because of the police investigation into the fire. "It's now criminal; that's why we were only able to come into the gym and SAC [and auditorium], so they could gather evidence," said Curran.

Yesterday, a fire in the girls' bathroom in the 350s hallway triggered the fire alarm at the end of seventh period. According to an anonymous staff source who visited the bathroom later, the toilet paper dispenser in the last stall had melted off the wall, leaving the bathroom "coated with black carbon."

Magnet teachers David Stein and Ralph Bunday noticed another fire at the start of seventh period yesterday in the girls' bathroom in the 310s hallway. Magnet coordinator Eileen Steinkraus reported the fire to administration. The fire had extinguished itself by the time Stein and Bunday arrived, leaving only a half-melted, tilted trashcan and toxic fumes.

School administration and police officers declined to comment on the investigation of either day's fires.



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  • wow on December 8, 2005 at 11:57 AM
    props to SCO for getting this up hours after it happened.
  • go chips on December 8, 2005 at 12:10 PM
    great job guys!!!
  • amazing on December 8, 2005 at 12:29 PM
    nullae morae nullae rationale
  • Ha on December 8, 2005 at 12:39 PM
    Whoa, you guys got this up scary-fast. Awesome. Thanks for the rapid turn-out, it helps to dispel some of the gossip.
  • common courtesy/sense on December 8, 2005 at 12:42 PM
    if you're going to pull the alarm or whatever, please do so on a nice, warm day..
  • yay for chips on December 8, 2005 at 12:44 PM
    nice job getting this up so fast
  • compie 25 on December 8, 2005 at 12:47 PM
    FIRE ON MONDAY, BRING YOUR COATS.
  • Still a bit confused... on December 8, 2005 at 2:43 PM
    Can anyone explain the rumors that the ceiling was falling in on Wednesday?
  • BuRp on December 8, 2005 at 3:34 PM
    A girl in one of my classes was called out to be a witness or something and im pretty sure it was a spainsh girl
  • senior wmas on December 8, 2005 at 4:34 PM
    now this i what i call "ORGANIZATION", great job to staff and students to get of the burining school asap
  • .. on December 8, 2005 at 5:24 PM
    i love how the administrators, particularly a certain ms. hurley, denied the existence of the first fire in the 310s hallway. that's what i call effective management.
  • Nice job on December 8, 2005 at 5:54 PM
    Yay SCO. good job putting this up so early. This is some great journalism!
  • yay on December 8, 2005 at 6:06 PM
    sco is my hero!!!!
  • sc on December 8, 2005 at 6:11 PM
    fires in the bathroom caused the ceilings of rooms below them to collapse.
  • peruboy89 on December 8, 2005 at 8:58 PM
    dog someones out to get me both fires were right next to my class rooom. lol. but i had a whole rack of smoke in my face this mourning whe i open mirs. jones class room to dip out. i booked out
  • anon on December 8, 2005 at 9:27 PM
    great job with the quick reporting, but am I the only one noticing that yesterday Mr. Bunday put out the first fire and today it put itself out and Ms. Steinkraus reported it?
  • Blazer on December 8, 2005 at 11:43 PM
    Good job SCO, this was very prompt.
  • . on December 8, 2005 at 11:55 PM
    ironic
  • The evil one who always makes on December 9, 2005 at 12:52 AM
    Yaaaay Chris! :)

    What is up with those silly little Blair people anyway?
  • GROW UP! on December 9, 2005 at 5:35 AM
    who ever is doing this needs to grow up! because fire is not something you play with.
  • Anonymous on December 9, 2005 at 6:05 PM
    the person that set the fires was probally just cold they were only trying to heat up so why are you making this a big deal. A great deal of gratitude should be granted to this person.
  • Anonymous on December 11, 2005 at 9:12 AM
    If they were really that cold, why didn't they just set themselves on fire?
  • anon on December 11, 2005 at 10:20 AM
    dumb freshman
  • Anonymous on December 11, 2005 at 10:14 PM
    I heard it was a gang initiation thing... anyone else her about this?
  • **** (View Email) on December 11, 2005 at 11:33 PM
    Bunday PUT OUT THE FIRST ONE!!! why doesn't anyone know that!?!? He SAVED US ONE EVACUATION! Gosh!
  • To **** on December 14, 2005 at 10:54 PM
    Bunday didn't put out the fire. The fire put itself out. He smelled it, saw that it was out and then told Steinkraus. Get your facts straight.
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