Archived Story

Fire in boiler room sends Ring Lardner students outside

Published 9:27am Tuesday, September 29, 2009

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

It should be business as usual at Ring Lardner Middle school today.

Students and staff at the school put their disaster drill skills to the test Monday when a small fire started, leading members of the maintenance crew to pull the fire alarm and officials to evacuate students.

“The alarm went off at 10:55 a.m.,” Principal Doug Langmeyer said.

Classified as an “equipment malfunction,” Langmeyer said after the fire alarm was activated, the “system took care of the rest.”

Disaster drills, he added, help prepare both staff and students for instances such as these and teachers make sure “that we account for all kids once we get them out there.”

The Niles City Fire Department responded to the alarm, Langmeyer said, in a very timely fashion.

The students were being led to Niles High School and by the time students were halfway there, he said, officials had the all clear to return to the building.

The school holds drills throughout the year and Langmeyer said they’d already practice a tornado and fire drill within this, the first month of school.

The incident also provided a test for the relatively new instant alert system the district has implemented to inform parents of school issues as quickly as possible.

“Instant alert did what it’s supposed to do,” Langmeyer said.

A few calls were received from concerned parents in the afternoon, but the principal said not in the quantity he might have received without a system that alerts parents via phone, email or text.

All in all, he said, a few lunch periods had to be rescheduled Monday and it was the overall conduct that he highlighted.

“The students and staff should be commended,” Langmeyer said.

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