Gaywood Elementary School evacuates after roof fire -- Gazette.Net



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Students and staff at Gaywood Elementary School in Seabrook have been moved to DuVal High School in Lanham for the remainder of the day after the elementary school’s roof caught fire from an overheated boiler, fire officials said.

There were no injuries, according to Prince George’s County fire/EMS officials, and the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes after firefighters from the West Lanham Hills fire station arrived on the scene around 9:15 a.m. Monday.

Mark Brady, chief spokesman for the county fire/EMS department, said the school reported having smoke in its boiler room, and when firefighters arrived, they found fire in the ceiling and roof areas above the boiler.

He said the boiler malfunctioned and overheated, which caused the ceiling to ignite.

“The exhaust pipe takes fumes through the boiler room to the roof and it became so hot that it ignited roofing materials,” Brady said. “The fire was relatively small in nature, but it was work-intensive to remove portions of the roof to extinguish it.”

Brady said repairs are now under way at Gaywood, but he did not know when the elementary school would be able to reopen.

Calls to Bryant Coleman, a spokesman for Prince George’s County school system, were not immediately returned Monday.

Brady said students riding buses will be taken home from Duval and those students who walk home from school will be transported back to Gaywood.

“The school did a tremendous job in evacuating,” Brady said.

djgross@gazette.net