Overnight fire closes Manassas Park school for a day

Teachers who arrived early Wednesday at Manassas Park Middle School discovered charred boxes of books in a small room following an overnight fire extinguished by sprinklers, said Lt. Karin Clatterbuck of the Manassas Park Fire Department and Volunteer Company.

“There are a couple of teachers who happen to go to school early and walk the halls for exercise. They found the fire and called it in,” Clatterbuck said.

The automatic sprinkler system extinguished the fire, which started near a heating unit in a small book storage room.

“The fire was pretty much out on arrival. The main issue was smoke,” she said. “[The room] was bigger than a closet, but they called it the book closet. I would have called it a small room.”

Several boxes of books in the vicinity of the heater were charred and the fire melted a plastic fertilizer spreader before the sprinklers activated, Clatterbuck said.

Officials closed the school Wednesday to clear the smoke from the building and reset the alarm system. The school will reopen today, Clatterbuck said.

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