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Skan HS evacuated due to boiler fire

Firefighters from Skaneateles and several other area departments responded to the Skaneateles High School Monday evening after an alarm that alerted rescue crews to smoke in the library.

The call went out over portable radios and the fire whistle blew for the first time just a few minutes after 7 p.m. Jan. 4.

According to Skaneateles Fire Chief Bob Frank, there was a boiler fire that caused heavy smoke conditions within the building.

"It appears to be contained to the boiler room in the ground floor," Frank said around 7:45 p.m.

At the time, firefighters from Skaneateles, Mottville, Marcellus and Sennett were in the boiler room checking for any pockets of heat with a thermal camera in order to stop any additional fire from spreading.

Frank said the boiler had been shut off and rescue crews were working to ventilate the school.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Superintendent of Schools Phil D'Angelo arrived at the firefighter's command post in the bus loop on Elizabeth Street.

"You'll have some smoke issues," Frank said to D'Angelo while explaining the extent of the damage. "The boiler will be down for the night."

Frank suggested the school's maintenance crew open the water lines to keep them from freezing while the heat is shut off.

D'Angelo said he received a call from Assistant Superintendent Dale Bates to alert him to the fire at the school.

The school was evacuated and the boys basketball game against Cazenovia, which was already in play, was canceled due to the fire call.

As of 8 p.m. Monday, D'Angelo was not sure if school would be postponed Tuesday morning.

*UPDATE, 10 p.m. Jan. 4:

By 10 p.m., a statement had been posted on the school's Web site, skanschools.org, letting parents know school will not be in session for the high or middle school on Tuesday.

The statement reads as follows:

"There was a fire in one of the boilers in the high hchool this evening. There was no structural damage, only minor smoke damage. The high school and middle school will be closed on Tuesday Jan. 5, 2010. There will be no activities held at either the high school or middle school. The Waterman and State Street schools will be open as usual on Tuesday."

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