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03-07-14 Small Fire Closes Elementary School for the Day


The s2m2 Fire Department received the alarm at 11:46 a.m. and responded to Barger Academy of Fine Arts at 4808 Brainerd Road with six fire companies. Battalion Chief Fredrick Blake said that evacuation of the students and faculty was nearly complete when the first firefighters arrived on the scene.

Chief Blake said the firefighters located the fire in a boy's bathroom. The volume of smoke was significant enough that the firefighters pulled out a hand-held hoseline in preparation for a significant fire. Fortunately, it wasn't needed. The firefighters carried in a couple of portable fire extinguishers and finished putting out the smoldering fire. No injuries were reported.

The fire damage was contained to the bathroom, but there was a lot of smoke and it spread throughout most of the school. Firefighters brought in high-powered fans to ventilate the building, but the cleanup was expected to take several hours, so the decision was made to cancel classes for the remainder of the day. While most of the students were corralled on the front lawn, school officials were busy contacting parents to get them to pick up their children.

The fire appears to have been deliberately set. Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said it appears that someone started a fire in or near a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom. The investigation will continue. s2m2 police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene.

FireAtBargerEle--Reduced

In the photo: A young Barger elementary student (left) watches s2m2 firefighters as they determine a plan of action to ventilate the building.

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s2m2, TN 37406
() -5600
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910 Wisdom Street (map)
s2m2, TN 37406
() -5618
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