Child sets paper towels on fire at school says Tyler Fire

Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Students of Peete Elementary School in Tyler were evacuated Monday afternoon after a fire was discovered in a bathroom of a first grade classroom says the Tyler Fire Department.

Tyler Fire says they received a call from the school around 1pm Monday, adding that the school's sprinkler system controlled the fire.

Fire officials say that several rooms had extensive water damage, but that fire and smoke damage was limited.

As soon as fire officials said everything was safe, students were let back into the building.

According to fire officials, one of the students set a paper towel dispenser on fire.

The following statement was released by Tyler ISD regarding the fire:

At approximately 1:15 p.m. Monday, January 4, a small fire developed from a first grade restroom at W.A. Peete Elementary School.  A substitute teacher smelled something burning, checked it out and found that there was a fire.  She immediately evacuated the students from the classroom.  The smoke detector system was manually pulled and the campus called the Tyler Fire Department, which responded immediately.  All students were safely evacuated from the campus.  The sprinkler system activated as well and put out the fire. Water damage was limited to several classrooms.  The classroom where the fire began received extensive water damage, two classrooms received moderate damage, and three classrooms received light damage.  The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

"Although this is an unfortunate incident, it is good to know all the safety equipment and procedures worked well resulting in minimal damage and no injury," said Tyler ISD Superintendent Randy Reid.

The Tyler Fire Department cleared the building and designated it as suitable for occupancy.  A phone message from the principal will go to all Peete Elementary parents explaining what occurred this afternoon.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.