Baltimore County firefighters and maintenance workers were airing out and cleaning up Randallstown High School last night after the latest in a series of suspicious fires heavily damaged a music room.
Electricians working after school hours reported the fire at 4:46 p.m., and firefighters encountered heavy smoke as they entered the building in the 4000 block of Offutt Road.
Fire Battalion Chief George M. Folio said the fire was confined to a large closet in one of two adjoining music rooms on the first floor. But smoke and the water from three sprinkler heads -- automatically activated when temperatures in the room reached 165 degrees -- caused heavy damage, he said.
"Within the last two to three months, there have been about five suspicious fire inside the school building," Chief Folio said. "I would say this would probably be the worst." Firefighters also had been called to the school grounds about 3 p.m. yesterday because of a brush fire in woods adjoining the athletic fields, the chief said.
Several athletic teams were playing after school hours and the building was occupied by some administrators when the electricians alerted the Fire Department, according to Chief Folio.
"With these past fires we've had, they've tightened up their security," Chief Folio said. "They haven't had as much as a false alarm there the last month." The closet in which the blaze started had been used to store sheet music, paper products and clothing, Chief Folio said.
One firefighter was treated for minor back and neck injuries at Northwest General Hospital, he said.
On successive days in the first week of November, firefighters were called to Randallstown High for a small fire in the girls' locker room, and small blazes in a boys' bathroom and a girls' bathroom.