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Fire shuts down Frederick Co. high school

March 08, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

FREDERICK, Md. - A fire early Tuesday at Linganore High School caused classes to be canceled for the day.

The fire in a portable classroom caused about $100,000 in damage to the classroom and its contents, the Maryland State Fire Marshal said.

Darren Hornbeck, a Linganore social studies teacher, arrived at school about 7:30 a.m. and saw smoke coming from his classroom, said Marita Loose, spokeswoman for Frederick County Public Schools. Firefighters arrived and put out the fire in about 20 minutes.

The cause of the fire was an accidental heater malfunction, the fire marshal said. Loose said the portable classroom was one of about 15 behind the high school. She believed the other portables would be checked for potential heating problems.

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Linganore was scheduled for a half-day of classes Tuesday, Loose said. Those were canceled after the fire caused power to go out in the remaining portable classrooms.

Classes were expected to resume today.

Loose said the portable classroom sustained water and smoke damage, but Hornbeck was able to salvage some files.

The classroom was filled with posters, globes and maps, she said.

"He had a gift for making instruction really dynamic, and he had all of the tools of the trade displayed throughout the room," she said.

A 24-year-old firefighter suffered a minor steam burn to the neck while fighting the fire, the fire marshal said. No one else was injured.

About 30 firefighters from Libertytown, New Market, Green Valley, Citizens, Walkersville and Woodsboro responded.

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