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Trash can fire forces evacuation of Derry elementary students

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7:19 p.m.

A fire in a trash can on Wednesday caused an evacuation in Derry Area School District just as students were about to be dismissed for the day.

At about 3:45 p.m., students at Grandview Elementary School were evacuated before they were permitted to board the buses waiting for dismissal, according to an automated message sent to parents by Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Walters.

School board President Dave Krinock said the fire, in a second-floor bathroom, was contained to a trash can, and all 900 students in kindergarten through fifth grade were accounted for before leaving the school.

“We're not making any assumptions as to how or why,” Krinock said. “It's under investigation.”

Derry police, along with Principal Kristine Higgs and Assistant Principal Rod Bisi, will be reviewing video surveillance footage from outside the bathroom to determine whether any students should be punished or charges filed, he said.

The school is fully operational, and all classes will be in session tomorrow, Walters said in the message.

“As always, the safety of our students is our first concern,” she wrote. “The students and staff of Grandview Elementary School are to be commended for their calm and efficient evacuation of the building.”

Bradenville and Derry volunteer fire departments responded, Krinock said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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