Cafeteria Fire at Sabal Palm Elementary

There are two fires to tell you about in our area; one forces the evacuation of a Tallahassee elementary school.

Sabal Palm Principal Nancy Stokely called it quote, "a surprise." She said when she woke up in the morning she had no idea that she would have to deal with a fire scare right in the middle of FCAT testing.

Around 11:00 o'clock Wednesday morning the fire alarm sounds at Sabal Palm Elementary. Students are told to evacuate.

Nancy says, "We discovered that it wasn't a false alarm so we proceeded to move the students far away from the school so they would be safe and account that all students were where they were supposed to be."

LT Jimmie Shiver of the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "They were evacuated and one of the attendants in building extinguished the fire with a dry powder extinguisher."

Authorities say the cause of the blaze was a cardboard box left in a food warmer; it got a little too close to one of the heating grids. School officials then shut down the school's cafeteria due to smoke, and lunches were delivered to the students classrooms .

Meanwhile, testing for the FCAT has been delayed.

Nancy adds, "The teachers followed procedures to make sure that the tests were secured, and when they left the classrooms they recorded the time, so we are making sure the students get the time they need to complete the test."

No one was hurt as a result of the blaze and there wasn't any major damage. Principal Stokely says she's pleased with how the students and teachers followed procedure when evacuating the building. She says the cafeteria should be ready for use Thursday.

The third, fourth and fifth graders were taking the national equivalency portion of the test after things got back to normal. The school began working closely with the district office to put testing back on schedule.


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