Small Fire Forces Evacuation of Pacesetter Elementary in Dallas

DFR says electrical short to blame for fire at elementary school

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, May 1, 2013  |  Updated 3:47 PM CDT
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Elementary School Fire Ruled Accidental

Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet Elementary School in Dallas.

A small, accidental fire at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet Elementary School in Dallas prompted an evacuation Wednesday.

When Dallas Fire-Rescue arrived at the school, located at 8201 Towns Street, firefighters reported smoke coming from the roof of the one-story building.  DFR said they made a quick offensive attack into the classroom where the fire was located and had the fire out in just over 20 minutes.

Officials said the fire was spotted by a teacher who noticed smoke coming from a classroom. The teacher confirmed no students were inside the classroom, shut the door and hit the fire alarm.

According to the school, there were approximately 650 students in grades PreK through 6 on campus at the time of the fire, though most were at lunch or recess at the time. 

DFR said that everyone was evacuated and that there were no reported injuries.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the all-clear was given and students were allowed to return to the building.

Investigators with the Dallas Fire Department determined the cause of the fire to be an electrical short in a refrigerator located in the classroom.  Fire spread from the short up the walls and into the ceiling.  Firefighters were able to contain the fire and the damage to the one classroom.

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