Dryer fires causes school evacuationMore than 1,000...


June 24, 1993

Dryer fires causes school evacuation

More than 1,000 students and teachers at West Middle School in Westminster were evacuated yesterday after a dryer caught fire, officials said.

Westminster Fire Lt. Fred Plunkert said towels or clothing caught fire in a dryer in the girls locker room about 2:30 p.m.

"We don't know if the dryer overheated or whether it was on the right setting," he said.

Mr. Plunkert said the dryer sustained minor damage. He said there was no smoke damage to the school on Monroe Street.

Bob Schultz, assistant Westminster fire chief, said firefighters used fans to evacuate smoke from an auditorium. Firefighters from Westminster, Reese and Manchester were at the scene.

School officials evacuated students and faculty before firefighters arrived.

"They did an outstanding job," Mr. Plunkert said. "I commend them."

Kathy Duex, a school secretary, said school officials smelled smoke and sent a custodian and a substitute teacher, who was also a volunteer firefighter, to investigate.

"I'm surprised how well everything went," Ms. Duex said. "Kids were well-behaved. There weren't any problems."

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