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Feb 16, 2016 5:57 PM

Pollard Elementary School in Plaistow dries out after pipe explodes


PLAISTOW - The cold weather caused a pipe to burst at Pollard Elementary School.

School let out early on Monday and was closed Tuesday as crews worked to fix it and dry out the building.

“All of a sudden we heard, like trains roaring, vibrations the whole roof over there was shaking" said Michelle Auger, Pollard Elementary School's principal.

The school was already in a 2-hour delay on Monday because of the cold.

“At the time of arrival, the buses were pulling up. A pipe burst, which was to the sprinkler system” said Earl Metzler, Superintendent of Timberlane Regional High School and Hampstead.

The pipe in the front entrance of the school exploded sending water gushing down the walls, flowing down hallways and into the main office and classrooms.

Five inches of water covered the floor, and teachers scrambled to try and remove confused children from the school.

“Really scary for lots of them, because the alarms were going off and you could smell some oil or some smoke” Auger said.

That smell was most-likely coming from the fire compression panel which shorted out form the thousands gallons of water.

“It’s a really important piece of equipment because it controls the whole system," Metzler said. "When the fire department shows up, they look at the panel and it would show any sprinkler heads that have popped. It will also show any alarms that were triggered by smoke or some other indicator.”

Teachers and staff helped to evacuate the school by bringing the kids to the church next door before sending them home.

The school is trying to de-humidify the soaked offices and classrooms, and crews are trying to get the panel up and running.

Some of the parts were unavailable because of the holiday.

They hope to have everything fixed by lunch-time on Wednesday.

If the panel is not functioning, they plan on having a firefighter in-house in case there is an emergency.


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