Lord Baltimore sees no injuries in minor electrical fire


Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Firefighters load unused hose onto a Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company truck after a small fire at Lord Baltimore Elementary School on Friday, May 6.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Firefighters load unused hose onto a Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company truck after a small fire at Lord Baltimore Elementary School on Friday, May 6.A recent school fire only resulted a few hours of lost instructional time.

Lord Baltimore Elementary School suffered a small electrical fire on Friday, May 6, at 11:52 a.m. in a heating panel on the second floor of the school.

With those wires mostly producing smoke, it was barely a fire, said Indian River School District spokesperson David Maull.

“It was producing smoke on the second floor, so they went ahead and evacuated the building and called the fire department,” Maull said.

The fire was extinguished by the time the Millville Volunteer Fire Company arrived.

Hundreds of students stood outside in a light but persistent rain. But they were being ushered into the gymnasium by 12:15 p.m.

The fire company checked the Ocean View building, and students were back in their classrooms by 1 p.m. “The school day concluded as usual,” Maull said. “The heating panel has since been repaired.”

The district praised LB staff for excellent execution of the evacuation plan.

“The staff over there did it by the book. They did a great job over there.” Maull said.

There were no injuries, contrary to rumor.

Other responders included the Bethany Beach and Roxana volunteer fire companies, as well as Sussex County paramedics.

Built in 1930, but with many upgrades and updates since then, Lord Baltimore has been the focus of some concerns in recent years. The IRSD Board of Education will likely request state funding this year, then go to public referendum, for several new school buildings, as well as repairs to the LB mechanical room and a stairwell.

Although the school is structurally sound, district officials said, the stairwell appears to have some large cracks, and water is getting under the building, especially into the mechanical room.

By repairing classic old school buildings, Superintendent Susan Bunting has said, the district is making use of existing resources, as well as keeping beloved historic buildings in their communities.