May 9, 2010

Fire at Whittier Woods on third floor delays classes

Students and staff waited outside for over an hour at the start of the school day May 6 for the fire marshal to clear the building after students reported two fires. Administration caught the student who started the fire later in the school day. After staying on their feet for an hour, students sat down in groups around the parking lot. Photo by Nikhil Gupta. After noticing a fire in the third-floor stairwell, a student pulled the alarm at 7:15 a.m. Around the same time, another student notified teacher Sheryl Freedman after noticing smoke from a separate fire in the Whittier Woods hallway.

Administrators shortened morning classes by 15 minutes and proctors delayed the AP English Literature exam. Teachers and students reported seeing small flames and billows of smoke. In the Whittier Woods hallway by the WAUD, the fire set off several Shakespeare club papers, according to Freedman.

MCPS gas trucks arrived with fans to eliminate the smoke from the hallways.

Some students thought the alarm was just a routine fire drill.

“I didn’t think it was serious, because they were testing the alarms,” freshman Audrey Gould said. “But then I saw smoke from the hallway, so I walked out.”

Others enjoyed the warm morning sun, tailgating and lounging around with friends.

“I’m kinda happy about this,” junior Adoni Anagnostopoulos said. “It’s a nice break from everything.”

In February, a soap dispenser in a third-floor bathroom was also set on fire, right before dismissal. SOURCE: Black & White

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