AC fire causes heavy damage to kitchen area

Staff Writer

    A fire of unknown origin Friday night around 6:30 p.m. resulted in heavy damage to the kitchen of the Adams Central Community Schools.

    School officials said no flames were seen, but a security camera showed "a flash" about 45 minutes prior to a building roof top sensor unit sending out an alert. The incident did, however, result in heavy smoke throughout the kitchen, storage area and dish washing room and one of the three serving units from which students and staff receive food was badly charred and considered a total loss.

    The Monroe Fire Department was called to the scene, but a school maintenance worker was quickly on the scene prior to their arrival and was able to take care of the incident with an ABC fire extinguisher.

    There are three major service lines in the AC cafeteria and a smaller one located in the snack bar area. Fortunately for school officials, today was a scheduled holiday in observance of President's Day and will give workers from a Fort Wayne firm specializing in cleaning and sanitizing establishments after a fire, flood or other form of disaster an extra day to get the cafeteria back in shape.

    The Adams County Health Department was called to the scene Saturday to determine what items needed to be thrown away and will be assisting the school in getting the cafeteria operational again, along with the Pro Techs Inc. firm.

    Pro Techs personnel worked the weekend on the cleaning process and will be continuing through today. It will be determined later today as to what level the cafeteria will be able to operate on Tuesday.  An adjustor from Indianapolis, representing an insurance trust that covers well over 60 schools in Indiana, was also on scene Saturday afternoon to view damage done.

    There was a significant amount of smoke residue over tables, counters, equipment and other items in the kitchen but food in the walk-in cooler and freezer were not affected. AC officials said they did not believe any smoke damage had been done to the ventilation system at the school but would be assessing that issue this week in more detail. School maintenance workers will be removing the middle serving line unit today since it was destroyed.