Monday, July 20, 2009
Misplaced Security Light Causes Mooberry Elementary Fire
Hillsboro Fire Investigators say a school security light removed from its position and placed face down against roofing material is the most likely cause of the early Friday (7/17/09) one-alarm fire at Mooberry Elementary School's kindergarten building located at 1230 NE 10th Avenue
View Larger Map. Investigators found the remains of a 400-watt mercury vapor light that was connected to a timer. Roofing contractors who had been working on the building told investigators they removed the light fixture from its position, left it connected to its wiring, and placed it face down against tar paper. They were unaware the light was on a timer.
Investigators say the light came on at about 10 pm and heated the tar paper to the point it began a fire on the roof deck. The fire burned slowly in the roofing material, ignited materials in the void space above the ceiling, and caused burning debris to drop down into the classroom area. That is when the smoke produced finally triggered the alarm system.
Fire damage to the roof and one classroom is extensive with heavy smoke, heat and water damage occurring to the remainder of the building. Damage estimate is $500,000.
Posted by Storm Smith, Information Officer at 12:47 PM