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Fire breaks out at Lockport school; school closed for a week

No injuries were reported. The fire at 491 High St. caused an estimated $200,000 in property damage and $100,000 in damage to contents.

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Emmet Belknap Intermediate School students will have another day off after a fire broke out at the City of Lockport school on Sunday. Remote instruction will take place later this week.

Four classrooms were impacted by the fire, which started when 18 tablet-type devices that were stacked together in groups overheated while charging in a classroom.

"Due to the close proximity of several units together, the air flow around the individual units necessary to dissipate the heat created during the charging process was restricted" and caused a battery or batteries to overheat and ignite, according to a City of Lockport Fire Department statement.

The fire at 491 High St. caused an estimated $200,000 in property damage and $100,000 in damage to contents. No injuries were reported.

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The fire began around 1:05 p.m. Sunday, when Niagara County Fire officials were dispatched to check out a general fire alarm activation. Personnel at the scene found the fire alarm panel located near the school's main doors, which showed active detectors in rooms 208 and 210.

Crews first checked room 208 but did not find an active fire. In the adjacent room 210, however, they found thick black smoke and eventually located the fire on a countertop area, away from the entrance door.

Fire crews were on the scene for 2.5 hours. Officials said four classrooms were impacted by fire, smoke, and/or water.

There was no school Monday and Tuesday at Emmet Belknap Intermediate School. An announcement was made Tuesday that the school will remain closed for the rest of the week. 

iPads will be distributed on Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. for remote instruction Thursday and Friday. 


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