Albert B Beardsley, Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Georgetown Fire Department Responds to Ice Incidents at Two Schools
GEORGETOWN — Chief Albert B Beardsley reports that the Georgetown Fire Department has responded to two ice-related incidents at Georgetown Public Schools in the past day and a half.
The first incident was at the Penn Brook School last night and the other this morning at Perley Elementary School this morning.
Penn Brook School:
At 5:30 pm Monday evening, March 9, the Fire Department received a report of a possible dangerous ice situation at Penn Brook School located on Elm Street in Georgetown.
Firefighters found a large slab of ice had dislodged from the roof and had come down on a cage that surrounds the gas meters for the school. Firefighters immediately requested National Grid to respond to the scene and to notify school officials and the Georgetown Building Inspector. A size-up of the scene noted the cage is surrounded by a chain link fence approximately six feet high and also has a chain link frame secured to the top of the fencing to keep animals out.
The gas main supplies the entire school for heating and cooking purposes.
The snow and ice measured three-to-four feet on the top and this weight caused the fencing to begin collapsing and threatened to damage the gas meter and main system.
As crews from National Grid were assembling on scene the Georgetown Highway Department was requested for a piece of heavy equipment to help in snow removal.
It was decided the best approach would be to slowly remove the weighted snow and ice in an attempt to reduce the overall weight load. At the same time the school was ordered evacuated as a precaution.
Crews worked for almost two hours in carefully digging away at the snow until the area was deemed safe.
Fortunately, there was no damage to the gas meter or main and gas was not required to be shut down inside the school.
School Department personnel remained on scene for several hours to remove additional snow that was still on the roof.
The fire department was back in quarters by 7:30 pm. No injuries were reported to anyone operating at the scene.
At 11:44 am Tuesday March 10, Georgetown Fire Chief Albert Beardsley, received a call from the Georgetown Building Inspector Jon Metivier, reporting that a large chunk of ice had become dislodged from an upper-story roof at the Perley School and had damaged a skylight.
The Perley School is located on North Street in Georgetown.
The Chief and the on-duty crew responded to the scene and found a block of ice measuring over 6 feet in length and 3 feet wide had hit the skylight causing external damage to the skylight in two places.
School crews worked to chop up the chunk of ice to remove it from the skylight while other crews placed caution tape around the hallways leading into the area near the school’s gym.
There was never any immediate threat to anyone in the structure but the hallways were put on restriction as a precautionary measure.
Georgetown Schools Superintendent Carol Jacobs was at the scene of both incidents last night and this morning to monitor the safety for the students and staff at both schools.
“The incredible cooperation and teamwork demonstrated at both incidents continues to underscore the hard work and dedication to the safety of our residents and children by all Town employees,” Chief Beardsley said. “All-in-all during these two incidents you had representation on scene by Georgetown Fire and Police Departments, Highway Department, Building Department and School Department. Everyone was focused on the operation and having a safe ending. There were no injuries reported at either incident.”