Power Line Falls, Sparks Fire At Flomaton High
April 6, 2013
A downed power line energized a covered aluminum walkway Friday afternoon at Flomaton High School, sparking a small fire.
The 7,200 volt power line broke and dropped onto the walkway that leads to three buildings on the west side of the campus. The fire was started at the point the walkway connects to the high school building, starting a fire along the exterior of the building. The fire caused just minor damage and was quickly extinguished.
Firefighters from multiple Alabama and Florida departments spent the next hour carefully searching the buildings. They were looking first and foremost for any victims, amid fears that someone might have been in one of the buildings and had been shocked. The also carefully searched each building for any signs of fire, using thermal imaging cameras to search for any sign of heat from a smoldering fire.
“I don’t want to leave here and have a fire smoldering in that insulation,” Flomaton Fire Chief Steve Stanton said as he directed firefighters to check the high school building ceilings for signs of heat.
“If that power line had energized the awning with kids under it,” he said,”we could have had a major problem. It could have hurt or killed a lot of kids.”
The Flomaton, Friendship, Lambeth and Pineview volunteer fire departments from Alabama; and the Century and McDavid stations of Escambia Fire Rescue from Florida responded to Friday afternoon’s fire.
Escambia County (FL) EMS and the Flomaton Police Department also responded.
Pictured top: Firefighters check the damage inside a building at Flomaton High School Thursday afternoon. Pictured top inset: Burn marks on the outside of the high school building. Pictured bottom inset: A broken power line sent 7,200 volts into a covered awning below. Pictured below: A firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to make sure there is no fire inside a classroom ceiling. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.