School, Masonic lodge recovering after Silver Spring fire -- Gazette.Net


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After a fire in Silver Spring last week, the National Children’s Center is working to redirect students before a summer program starts next week.

Members of Silver Spring Masonic Temple Lodge #215, where the fire broke out, are cleaning up and getting insurance estimates.

No one was inside the building, located on University Boulevard West, when the fire broke out at the building during the early morning hours of June 25, and no one was hurt.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said the fire started when an electrical outlet failed, igniting combustible materials. Emergency crews were alerted at about 4:15 a.m. and closed the road.

Piringer said it took about 20 minutes to extinguish the fire, which was confined to a single second-floor room.

He estimated damage to the building to be a minimum of $300,000.

Dan Lane, the worshipful master of Lodge #215, said the fire was in a room on the second floor, which the temple uses. Seven windows blew out.

The positive side is that the fire alarm system worked, he said.

The school, on the first floor, had smoke and water damage to ceilings and floors in three rooms, Lane said.

The National Children’s Center, an alternative school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is scheduled to start a summer session on Monday, interim CEO Jesse Chancellor said.

The center’s Silver Spring site is for students living in Maryland, mainly Prince George’s County. Chancellor said the tentative plan is to move students to a National Children’s Center site in northwest Washington, D.C. That will require coordination with officials from Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., and the state of Maryland.

The National Children’s Center gives certificates of completion to students 14 to 21 years old. It gets funding through the Maryland Department of Education, Chancellor said.

aschotz@gazette.net