02/02/11 — Officials eyeing fire at school

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Officials eyeing fire at school

By Phyllis Moore and Gary Popp
Published in News on February 2, 2011 1:46 PM

Goldsboro Fire Department investigators and officials with Wayne County Schools were still trying to determine today how a fire started at Greenwood Middle School on Tuesday.

A fire report listed the cause as "suspicious."

According to firefighters, it started in a paper towel dispenser on a boys' restroom wall in what school employees called the "elective building," located between two other buildings on the Ash Street campus.

The fire started shortly after 10 a.m. and was put out shortly. Students were evacuated but soon returned to class and the rest of the day was "business as usual," said Ken Derksen, the school system's public information officer.

The fire department has turned over the investigation to the Goldsboro Police Department," said Assistant Fire Chief Frank Sasser, who added that the departments would work with one another to piece together what caused the fire.

Sasser said the dispenser melted into a pile on the floor and that is was the plastic that gave off the heavy black smoke that could be seen pouring from the doorways .

The damage was limited to the restroom, and the smoke damage was, for the most part, contained to the restroom and hallways, Sasser said.

Amid reports that the fire had been intentionally set, Derksen commented that the matter was still under investigation.

On the day of the incident, fire officials said that the teachers did an outstanding job of getting the students out of the building and closing the doors to the classrooms, which limited the overall damage.

An estimate of the damages was not available this morning.