Students at Robert Frost Middle School sprint outside the thud of hundreds of feet bounding down the hallway can be heard throughout the building. As students walk out of the building, the average chatter and white noise of loud kids talking fills the air. A seemingly average day is about to take a turn for the worse.
The faint smell of smoke wafts down the hallways and through the air vents, enough to be unusual, but not cause any alarm. After 10 minutes a huge cloud of black smoke pushes its way through the door of the boys’ bathroom, causing the smoke alarm to go off. The blaring of the alarm induces the few children left in the building to run for the exits. Outside is a panic, students wondering what happened as a bright red fire truck pulls into the bus lane- alerting them to the danger inside.
On Feb. 4, a small fire was started inside the boy’s bathroom at Frost. Around 2:55 p.m., just as the school day was ending, the fire alarm went off inside the school. Students were prompted by their teachers to go into their designated fire drill. It is estimated that the fire had burned for 10 minutes before the alarms went off. One fire truck arrived on the scene, the firefighters swiftly ran to the fire and put it out. Once the scene was deemed safe and contained, the fire drill ended. “After the smoke was cleared and there were no more fire warnings the student’s got on their buses and went home,” seventh grader Tyler Barberis said.
While it is not known exactly how the fire was started, different accounts provide first hand experience of the situation. It is known that the fire was started inside the boys’ bathroom by a male student. “I think it was started with a soap dispenser,” eigth grader Bella Rosner said.
Other students have heard other stories. “Students don’t know how it was started but rumors are that someone was smoking in the bathroom and they put it in the trash can,” Barberis said.
The school did not suffer any permanent damage. Some parts of the bathroom were covered in charcoal and partially burnt. While the school endured damage, the event was thought of as a “prank to get attention,” Rosner said.