Minor Explosion Causes School Evacuation Yesterday Afternoon

November 18, 2016

Briefs, News

 

 

 

Photo By Jenifer Guzman The Rio Rancho Fire Department came to campus as a precautionary measure yesterday during seventh period, after a lithium battery pack exploded in the robotics storage closet.

Photo By Jenifer Guzman
The Rio Rancho Fire Department came to campus as a precautionary measure yesterday during seventh period, after a lithium battery pack exploded in the robotics storage closet.

By: Benjamin Lockard

Classes were interrupted by an unexpected fire drill yesterday during seventh period. What was thought to be another routine fire drill turned out to be the actual smoke alarm, which was triggered by smoke billowing out of the robotics storage room.

A lithium ion battery in the robotics storage room overheated and exploded. “I heard a really loud pop, and I thought it was one of the scholars,” said Robotics Manager Nevelyn Headrick. “I think that the lithium battery was probably just old and that it got too hot.”

She said just as she saw the smoke billowing up toward the ceiling of the closet, the fire alarm went off. “I unplugged the batteries and took them out and threw them on the ground. And got some water and put out the fire.”

Scholars filed out of the school and waited patiently for the fire department to arrive.

“When the alarm went off, the first thing was to get everyone out. I was so proud of the staff and scholars, they exited the building, they met in their areas, they took role, and gave me green cards. The rooms were unlocked in case the fire department needed to get in there, and they kept their kids outside until we could give them the clear signal to come back in, just like we practiced–I was so proud of them,” said Assistant General Manager Daniel Barbour.

He said  that this has been the first real fire in the history of The ASK Academy and, “the first school fire in my 23-year career.”

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