New Paltz Middle School closed following electrical fire

(Photo by Lauren Thomas)

New Paltz Middle School is closed for the remainder of the day, Monday, October 16, due to a minor electrical fire in the cafeteria prior to the arrival of students. Rerouted buses took students directly to the high school auditorium, from where they were transported home again at 10 a.m. after parents were notified.

According to district Board of Education president Michael O’Donnell, no students were allowed to enter the school or parking lot.

The New Paltz Fire Department responded at 6:48 a.m. According to second assistant fire chief Dylan Babcock, a small fire had occurred in an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) unit but was out upon their arrival. The heavy smoke, however, necessitated ventilation and the area had to be evaluated for safety.

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The fire department cleared the scene by 8 a.m.

The school will remain closed for the day because of a strong lingering odor.

School officials haven’t decided if the school will be open tomorrow. The building’s air quality has to be tested before any students can return. Further updates will be posted on the district website.

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