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Electrical fire causes evacuation of schools

February 13, 1998

Electrical fire causes evacuation of schools

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Frayed insulation on a 17,000-volt main electrical line feeding power into all four Greencastle-Antrim schools caught fire and knocked electricity out for hours in the entire school system Wednesday night, a fire official said Thursday.

There were no injuries, but more than 215 students and adults in the schools for athletic and other events were evacuated when the fire was discovered around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to Capt. Mike Luger of Rescue Hose No. 1 in Greencastle.

Damage was limited to the lines, he said.

Luger said sparks flew out of the power lines. He blamed worn insulation in the main line as the source. Sparks and flames were flying out of the junction box, he said.

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The incident also caused a brief borough-wide power outage, but it only lasted for about 10 seconds, Luger said.

Allegheny Power Co. crews had power restored to the school system by 4:30 a.m. Classes resumed on schedule Thursday morning.

- Richard F. Belisle

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