Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Fire Department Extinguishes Fire at O’Maley Middle School
GLOUCESTER — Chief Eric Smith reports that the Gloucester Fire Department extinguished a roof fire at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School yesterday.
Just before 5:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, the fire department received multiple calls reporting a fire at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School, located at 32 Cherry St. Upon arrival, firefighters saw flames coming from the roof of the school above the auditorium.
Firefighters from Gloucester’s Bay View and Magnolia stations were called to assist firefighters already on scene from the West Gloucester and Headquarters stations. Crews were able to force entry into the school and quickly knock down the fire, containing most of the damage to the school’s roof.
Crews remained on scene checking for fire extension. They determined that the fire had originated in the roofing material of the building due to an apparent lack of sufficient clearance and insulation around the vent pipe for the emergency generator. An initial investigation determined that heat from the vent pipe had caused the roofing materials to deteriorate over time. The heat created from the running generator combined with high winds at the time caused the fire to ignite.
There was minimal damage to the school’s interior and school is expected to open as scheduled after the holiday break on Tuesday, Jan. 3. According to the Gloucester Assessor’s Department, damages are estimated to be $10,000. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters from Rockport, Essex and Manchester provided coverage while Gloucester crews responded to the fire.
“Cold and blustery conditions can make situations like these extremely dangerous,” Chief Smith said. “Thanks to the early detection by witnesses and the quick response from firefighters, we were able to quickly put this fire out with minimal damage to the school and no injuries.”