EASTBROOK, Maine — Students at the Cave Hill School were evacuated from the building early Tuesday afternoon after leaking pipes set off the fire alarms in the building.
According to Principal Brenda Jordan, school and Fire Department officials were still trying to determine exactly what happened.
“A student noticed that one of the sprinklers was dripping,” Jordan said. “When I went upstairs to check, there was water flowing out all over the place.”
Students were at lunch and recess when the incident occurred shortly after noon.
Jordan said the students were evacuated to the Eastbrook Community Center and sent home from there.
Although, initially, it appeared that the sprinkler pipes might have frozen and burst, Eastbrook Fire Chief Rick McNeil said the older sprinkler system might have deteriorated to the point where it just let go.
McNeil said the water got into the lights in the ceiling.
“That was the smoke they were smelling,” he said. Once the power to the building was shut off, there was no more smoke, according to Jordan.
There never was any fire in the building, McNeil said.
Eastbrook firefighters went to the scene along with crews from Franklin and Waltham, and Hancock firefighters were on standby.
McNeil said there was a lot of water in the upstairs and lot of water got into the library. Firefighters were able to protect some of the school’s computers with tarps.
The sprinkler company and an electrician were called to take care of the problem, he said.
According to Jordan, there will be no school on Wednesday while crews work to dry out the building.