An early morning small fire May 17 triggered automatic sprinklers at J. Michael Lunsford Middle School, which extinguished the fire and minimized damage to the school.
A heating unit in a classroom malfunctioned, causing the fire, Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Laura Rinehart said. Fire and Rescue crews from Dulles South received the call for the fire at 2 a.m. and upon arrival, found smoke in the building.
Units from Brambleton, Fairfax County and Dulles Airport were dispatched to assist. Firefighters located the source of the fire which had been extinguished by the automatic fire sprinkler system. Fire department personnel remained on scene to ensure the extinguished material was removed, the utilities were secured and that the building was adequately ventilated.
Once deemed safe, the building was turned over to Loudoun County Public Schools representatives. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office conducted an investigation and determined the fire was accidental and estimated damages at $5,000. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. One pet lizard was removed from the room of origin and turned over to school staff for care.
Because of the automated sprinkler system, the school was able to remain open with little impact to the community and its students, Rinehart said.