Middle school goes full remote Friday after small kitchen fire

Jun 3, 2021

Classes at Dartmouth Middle School were dismissed at 11:30 a.m. June 3 after a small electrical fire broke out in the school cafeteria that morning, school and fire officials said.

The building will be closed Friday, with students having a remote learning day instead of in-person learning.

An electrical outlet in the cafeteria caught fire, Fire District 3 Chief Richard Arruda said. He added that the fire was contained to an inside wall and did “very little damage."

The fire was reported at 7:40 a.m. 

Students were immediately evacuated from the building, even as other students were arriving for the day, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonny Gifford said.

“It was a crazy time,’’ she said. 

Students were moved to the turf field while the fire department responded to the incident. Once the scene was cleared, students returned to the building for classes before the 11:30 a.m. dismissal.

The students were sent home, Gifford said, because lunches cannot be cooked or served. 

She also chose to close the building Friday to allow time for the food on hand to be disposed of, new food to be brought in, and the area to be cleaned up. 

By Monday, she said, things should be “back to normal.”