Hot plate source of school fire

Students at Black Mountain Elementary were evacuated for a short time on Tuesday afternoon after a hot plate started a fire in the kindergarten classroom.

A Kelowna firefighter takes away a fan used to ventilate the smoke from a Black Mountain school classroom.

Students at Black Mountain Elementary were evacuated for a short time on Tuesday afternoon after a hot plate started a fire in the kindergarten classroom.

Shortly after noon, fire crews were summoned to the elementary school and arrived to find students in the field and a smoldering cook top outside a classroom.

“When the fire started, the alarm activated and the custodian went into the class and grabbed the burning utensil and took it outside,” said Capt. Rob Schleppe.

He said the 15 students in the kindergarten class were reading when a couple of the students apparently crawled underneath a table and plugged in the appliance, which was in storage.

He said there were some boxes on top of the hot plate, and it’s believed that led to the fire.

No one was hurt and students were allowed back into the school gym shortly after fire crews arrived. They returned to their classrooms about an hour after the fire started following ventilation of the school by fire crews.

Schleppe said there was no structural damage to the school and that it only suffered a bit of smoke damage.

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