From Adirondack Daily Enterprise....
LAKE PLACID — An electrical fire was contained to one dormitory room at Northwood School Tuesday after smoke filled the second floor of a residential wing and forced students and faculty to evacuate.
Firefighters and school administrators said it seems the fire was caused by an electrical overload in a second-floor dormitory room, occupied by a student at the time of the incident. Assistant Head of School Tom Broderick said the resident of the room was on a free period and used a fire extinguisher to knock down the flames, with several Northwood faculty members soon responding to aid in putting out the fire.
The student suffered a burn to his hand and was transported to Adirondack Medical Center, according to Broderick and Matt Colby, head driver for the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department.
“It’s superficial,” Broderick said of the student’s injury. “He’s at the hospital right now. He was in the room when it happened, charging whatever he was charging.”
One or more Essex County fire investigators will determine what started the blaze, but Broderick said, “We think we had an electrical overload on the electrical circuit.”
“We’ve got county fire investigators coming to verify what we’ve found so far,” Colby said at about 2 p.m. “We used one fire extinguisher; the staff knocked a lot of it down. We used smoke ejectors to get the smoke out. It burned a lot of plastic, fiberglass, remote-control cars. (We’re) narrowing it down to that area.”
The Lake Placid fire department called for aerial ladder and pumper trucks from the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department, but then downgraded the request to just a pumper to stand by at the Lake Placid fire station.
The private boarding high school was in session, with most students attending after-lunch classes. Broderick said all students were accounted for when the school was evacuated to a courtyard behind the main entrance and the dormitory where the fire occurred. Broderick said approximately 160 students attend the school.
At the time the fire broke out, tents were being set up in athletic fields at the front of the school for a commencement ceremony, as Northwood’s seniors graduate this weekend.