2 city schools forced to close early

Small fire breaks out at Thurgood Marshall High

Water main break affects Laurence G. Paquin

April 01, 2004|By Jacqueline Seaberg | Jacqueline Seaberg,Baltimoresun.com Staff

Fire and water caused two Baltimore City public schools to close early today, according to officials.

Thurgood Marshall High School at 5001 Sinclair Lane was closed at 11 a.m. due to a fire in a janitors' closet. The fire started at 9:44 a.m. and was extinguished within five minutes, fire officials said. No one was injured and the fire was confined to the closet.

Smoke was reported on the second floor and students waited in the cafeteria until they were dismissed later that morning, according to school authorities.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

"We're still too early in our investigation to have a cause," said Kevin Cartwright, deputy public information officer for the Baltimore Fire Department.

Woodbourne Center, a middle school on the same campus, was not affected, according to Vanessa Pyatt, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore City public school system.

Thurgood Marshall High School is expected to reopen tomorrow morning, Pyatt said.

In addition, Laurence G. Paquin Middle/High School at 2200 Sinclair Lane closed at 1 p.m. today due to low water pressure, school officials said.

The low water pressure was caused by a water main break near North Avenue and Wolfe Street. The area between Broadway Avenue and Belair Road has been affected, as well as a large swath north and south.

"Most people in that area have been experiencing low water pressure," said Kurt Kocher, a spokesman for Baltimore City's Department of Public Works.

Some residents and businesses had their water shut off as crews began closing valves in order to determine which pipe is broken. After the source of the problem is determined, water can be restored relatively quickly, said Kocher.

Originally published April 1, 2004, 2:07 PM EST

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