Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fire At Hammond High

UPDATE2: From the principal (1/8/2010)

Principal’s Message…

Yesterday, January 7th, Hammond High School experienced an intentionally set fire our in our auditorium. The prompt response of school staff and the fire department, combined with the safety systems that are in place, resulted in the fire being quickly contained. The professional actions of the Hammond High School staff, Security Assistant, and School Resource Officer (SRO) also resulted in a safe evacuation of the school. I applaud the reaction of the students to the fire and evacuation. Every staff member has reported that the students followed directions throughout the incident, responding appropriately to the gravity of the situation.

Personnel from the Howard County Public School System responded quickly and arrived at Hammond High School to assist us. The personnel from HCPSS Building Services Division have done a tremendous job cleaning up after the fire. The damage to the auditorium was extensive enough to temporarily close the auditorium for public use. The projected date to have the facility accessible is January 18th.

I am well aware that having someone intentionally set a fire at Hammond High School is very disconcerting for the staff, students and parents of this community. Please know that the Fire Marshall has an ongoing investigation regarding the fire. The staff, school administration, and the SRO following up on any information we receive regarding the possible suspects. We need the additional ears of the community to help reveal the person or persons responsible for introducing this level of danger in our school. Please contact the school administration or SRO at 410-313-7615 if you have any information that will assist us in completely removing this danger from our school.

UPDATE: From HoCo schools:

Hammond High School parents,

This afternoon at approximately 12:40pm, Hammond High School was evacuated when a fire was discovered on the stage in the auditorium. The HCPSS Public Information Office erroneously reported to you that students were dismissed at 1:00 pm. We apologize for this error and any inconvenience that it caused.

In fact, after checking the all areas of the school, Fire and Rescue officials allowed students and staff to enter school’s cafeteria and media center areas at around 1:30pm. From there each class was allowed to return to their classrooms to collect their belongings. Students were dismissed at approximately 2:00pm.

The fire was extinguished quickly and officials are investigating the cause. There were no injuries. The building is being aired out this evening and only the auditorium will be closed to use tomorrow.

Patti Caplan

HCPSS Director of Public Relations

EARLIER: From an initial e-mail alert the school sent to parents:

Hammond High School is dismissing students at 1pm due to a fire on the auditorium stage. The fire is under control but Fire and Rescue personnel have not given the administration approval to reenter the building. No reported injuries. Buses have been dispatched and are expected to arrive by 1:35pm.


Anonymous said...

1st. But not joking around, its almost 2:00 and the buses are not here yet. Yes I am a student, so I would know if I am still in the school or not.

Anonymous said...

I attend hammond. We were not dismissed untill 210. Before so we were in the cold for about 1 hour and 20mins. Alot of us DID not have jackets then a bunch had shorts (due to being in gym). then the crammed us all in a hallway and little media center. before we were dismissed they said that their was a fire in the BAND room. not cafeteria. So? someones lieing.

Anonymous said...

it was in the auditorium and we stood outside for like an hours and 20min. it didnt happen in the cafeteria because thats where they crammed us all after the fire was over and we were allowed back in the building ... just fyi

9th grade said...

it was in the auditorium because a stage light fell and caught the curtains i fire which spread to stage props from plays. wee evacuated at 12:30.i was in the locker room changing and my friend evacuated without shoes because teachers rushed us out. then we came in at around 1:50 and crammed us in the hall. then sent us back to our classes then we left at 2:15.

Senior said...

I walked right past the fire in the auditorium when we were evacuating the school. I heard that papertowels were found on the floor by the curtains. People said someone tried to light them on fire. I also heard that it may have been electrical because the school is so old. I am very sure that students found the fire and pulled the fire alarm. It was also very cold outside. Luckily, I had a sweater in my car, but others weren't so fortunate.

Anonymous said...

it's so weird seeing people from my school post stuff online outside of facebook and stuf

2010 Senior said...

Majority of the comments are rumors.. I am a Senior at Hammond High School and i recieved an e-mail from the Theatre Department. The fire was caused by a student not the lights. During the musical last year a light exploded during a performance while actors were dancing, nothing caught fire and no one was hurt. The fire was caused by a student with the intension of setting the auditorium on fire. Students waited outside for about an hour and twenty minutes. The students were allow back in the school to get their things and to split the student body in half, sending half of the students into the cafeteria and the remaining into the media center until school was let out at 2:10pm (normal time)The damage to the stage is the front curtain was burned, the front of the stage floor was burned and alot of water damage other then that the students and the school is fine. The auditorium should be open by Tuesday.

2010 Senior said...

Also the fire was not discovered by a teacher it was a Student in the 5th period Stagecraft class. 3 male students informed the teacher and pulled the fire alarm.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Hammond High School was set on fire on January 7th, 1985 also. It happened in the wrestling room where they stored the high jump pits during the winter. I know this because it happened my Sr. year, on my birthday. School was closed for over 2 weeks while the soot damaged was cleaned up. What are the chances....25 yrs later. I hope the damage was fixed quick and noone was hurt.

Back in 1985.