Wednesday, April 2, 2008

School campus shed fire causes $10K in damage

Man sleeping nearby is sent to hospital with burns on his feet

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A fire on the campus of Sandy Spring Friends School last week sent a 37-year-old man to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns to his feet, fire officials reported.

He was released from the MedStar Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, a school spokeswoman said.

A fire broke out in a shed around 2:40 a.m. March 26 on the campus, located at 16923 Norwood Road, Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, said.

On Monday, fire officials still did not know what caused the fire.

Although the school was on spring break last week, Jean-Michel Sarrazin, who is a dorm counselor and maintenance employee, was sleeping in a residential apartment near the shed, said Anne Ball, a spokeswoman for the school.

When he was awakened by his dog’s whimpering and barking, he went outside to investigate, Piringer and Ball said. Sarrazin was not wearing shoes.

‘‘The [apartment’s] door was right next to the shed and it was hot and he burned his feet on the metal [door frame],” Ball said Monday morning.

The roof of the shed was on fire. Some 40 firefighters brought the blaze under control in about 10 minutes, Piringer said.

Ball said Sarrazin’s wife and son were out of town at the time of the fire.

Damage is estimated at $10,000, Piringer said.

The only items stored in the shed were bicycles and outdoor equipment, Ball said.

‘‘There is no shed left,” she said, adding that the porch was charred and the side of the brick building is scorched.