Fire Keeps Niles Closed for Two Days


It was a small, but smoky fire that would keep Troy School District’s alternative high school and multiuse building out of operation last Monday and Tuesday.

It was just after 6 a.m. on Saturday, October 14, when the Troy Fire Department responded to a report of a fire alarm at Troy College and Career High School on Square Lake (or, as most of us know it, Niles Community High School). The caller was the alarm monitoring company, which reported they had not spoken with anyone at the scene.

Well, of course, at this hour on Saturday morning there was no one at the school. The Troy Fire Department responded very, very quickly, acknowledged at a grateful Troy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Machesky. He said that quick action saved the district’s building a lot of potential damage.

First arriving units, including Engine 2, Ladder 2, Engine 6, Ladder 6, Rescue 4, Air Tender 3 and Alliance Mobile Health (EMS Provider), reported smoke showing from the west side of the large, one-story, school. The building appeared to be unoccupied at the time.

Firefighters advanced a hose line to the workroom, located on the west side of the building, and made entry. A small, smoldering fire was located and extinguished. A primary search was conducted to ensure no occupants were inside the building, noted Troy’s Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer.

“Firefighters conducted overhaul of the immediate area, and performed ventilation of the building. Smoke had spread into the school, but was removed by firefighters. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to a small area of the maintenance workroom,” Riesterer reported.

Smoke detectors were responsible for early notification to the fire department, and limiting the size of the fire.

The incident was turned over to Fire Investigators to determine the cause of the fire. The origin of the fire appears to be on the 1st floor, in a workroom. The fire is believed to be accidental at this time, but the investigation continues.

Dr. Machesky said that the district has since been told that the cause of the fire was a surge protector that shorted out.

But there was clean up to accomplish and the building was closed until clean up was completed by the school district. They called in Jarvis Restoration to make the workroom serviceable again, but there was smoke that had gone through the buildings ventilation system. Not wanting anyone to suffer from the effects of soot that might be in the system, the district called on Amistee to make sure everyone would have fresh air to breathe.

There was no damage to any of the areas in the high school portion of the building and the doors were reopened to students and programs on Wednesday.

There were no reported injuries or fatalities with this incident.