Sprinkler Pipe Leak Forces Evacuation of Warner Elementary School While Housing Evacuated Shortlidge School Children

Posted on  01/30/2014 1:55 pm

TIME: 11:50 AM

This morning at 11:50 a.m., Wilmington firefighters on the D-Platoon were dispatched to Warner Elementary School, 801 West 18th Street for an activated fire alarm system. This incident occurred while Warner Elementary School was housing the evacuated children and staff from Shortlidge Elementary School. (Shortlidge Elementary School had been evacuated just after 10:42 a.m. due to an outside natural gas leak under the street in front of the school.)

Arriving Fire Department units determined that the alarm system was activated by the sprinkler system. They also received a report that there was an odor of natural gas within an area of the building. Fire Department personnel conducted a search of the building to locate any sprinkler system activation while simultaneously checking the entire school with natural gas metering equipment.

The Fire Department found no readings of natural gas within the building. The fire alarm system activation was found to be caused by a drop in water pressure in the sprinkler system due to a cracked pipe. No significant water damage was sustained and the system is being brought back online under the supervision of the Wilmington Fire Marshal’s Office.

The situation was placed under control at 12:20 p.m. by the Incident Commander, Battalion Chief Michael Harris.

The evacuated children from Shortlidge Elementary School were returned to their school; and the evacuated Warner Elementary School students were returned to their classrooms.