Boiler explodes in Guymon grade school
Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:00
By MIRANDA FLEMING
• Guymon Daily Herald
Tuesday afternoon, sirens could be heard all over Guymon as local emergency services responded to a 911 call at Academy School, involving an explosion with injury.
At approximately 4 p.m., the 911 caller informed officials that the boiler had exploded in the school’s basement. Several school officials met firefighters on scene and reported that while preparing the boiler for the upcoming cold weather, two small explosions occured.
“A maintenance worker leaving the boiler room was struck with the blow of the explosion through a doorway, then was struck again as he was running up the stairs to the nearest exit,” Assistant Fire Chief Grant Wadley said. The worker went on to say that he saw a flash of fire and then felt the explosions. The worker was treated by paramedics on scene and released.
Upon entering the building, firefighters searched for any possible victims left in the building, school officials confirmed there was no one else inside at the time. Firefighters found no fire and remaining gases had escaped out of broken windows caused by the explosions.
The upstairs classrooms had no reported damage or injuries.
“School had already been dismissed from this building with only a few teachers and after school students still in their classrooms,” Wadley said. School officials had already evacuated remaining teachers and students upon the rescuers arrival.
All utility gas lines going into the school were shut off by the City of Guymon’s Gas and Water Department during rescue and investigation.
School officials were allowed to enter the basement to inspect the damages after the fire department gave the all clear.
“There was a malfunction on the ignition with the boiler system at Academy,” Superintendent Doug Melton said Wednesday morning. “There was too much gas in there when it was lit up so it wasn’t actually the boiler that blew up, it was the gas portion. We have the state inspector there right now and are hoping to get everything taken care of today. As of now, school will resume Thursday.”
For Wednesday only, school officials had cancelled classes in this section of the building.
Many agencies quickly responded and offered assistance, including Guymon Fire Department, Guymon Police Department, Texas County Sheriffs Office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations, Texas County Emergency Management and the City of Guymon Gas and Water Department.