Fire forces education building's evacuation

Staff escapes unharmed

elevator's motor ruined

June 10, 1999|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

A smoky fire in the elevator of the Carroll County Board of Education headquarters at 125 N. Court St. in Westminster yesterday forced the brief evacuation of nearly 200 employees -- just as they had started to partake in an end-of-the-year ice cream social.

The evacuation, which started at 2 p.m., lasted 15 minutes as firefighters worked to extinguish a fire that burned up the motor of the three-story building's only elevator.

Undeterred, two employees carried the table of homemade ice cream and all the confectionery trimmings for sundaes and banana splits into the parking lot.

"People were waiting in line for their ice cream and the fire alarm started," said a school board employee as she finished a chocolate sundae in the sweltering heat.

Vernon Smith, assistant superintendent of administration, directed the employees out of the building and later allowed them to return to their offices.

"The good news is that the building was vacated promptly and the fire experienced here was minimal," Smith said.

Bob Conaway, supervisor of maintenance, said a new elevator motor would be ordered today.

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