BREAKING NEWS: Fire Breaks Out In Portable #7


Shortly before 1 p.m., a fire broke out in one of the portables. The school was evacuated for about an hour as security and administration dealt with the chaos of directing the fire engines and ensuring everyone’s safety. Upper School was not in session because of parent teacher conferences, but students and parents in the middle of their conferences were caught amidst the turmoil.

As they wait for news about the fire hazard, Upper School English teachers Jennifer Boulanger and Sarah Traphagen share a jacket in the chilly outside weather. Photo by Heidi Kim/The Fourcast.

The fire started in portable number seven, which is shared by studio arts teacher Emily Howard and technical director and auditorium manager Robert Kallos, houses the temporary space for visual arts and a storage space for theater.

According to Blair Lowry, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs, the portable had an electrical malfunction, which started a fire above the ceiling.

The fire was burning for a period of time before it became evident to Kallos, who was in a meeting when he noticed the ceiling’s red glow. It was immediately reported and the fire department responded within minutes.  

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Above: Trucks from the Dallas Fire Department park near the Middle School carpool entrance. Photos by Neha Dronamraju/The Fourcast.

As for the damage, the ceiling suffered some structural deformation and most of the items in the portable will most likely be ruined since the fire sprinklers worked properly. The items that were not ruined by water had serious smoke damage. According to Chief Financial Officer JT Coats, some props and light fixtures that were stored in the portable are beyond repair.

“We are hoping to salvage some things but it is very uncertain at this point how much,” Coats said.

More information will be released once the fire investigator’s report comes in and the insurance adjusters review the incident.

– Neha Dronamraju – Staff Writer –