Fire, Exploding Acetylene Gas Cylinders Damage Monroe Technology Center

Fire, Exploding Acetylene Gas Cylinders Damage Monroe Technology Center

School district officials say classes will continue as scheduled Monday after a fire caused an estimated $50,000 damage at Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg.

The Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center began receiving 9-1-1 calls just after midnight Sunday (Jan. 21) about a fire at the building on Children’s Center Road in Leesburg.

Fire and rescue crews from Leesburg, Hamilton, Purvilleville, Landsdowne and Round Hill responded. Firefighters found an active fire coming from a storage area in the rear of the school building that houses acetylene gas cylinders.

Several of the cylinders had exploded and the fire was burning on the outside of the building toward the roof. Firefighters began procedures to extinguish the flames while additional crews secured the remaining gas cylinders and checked the roof for fight extension.

A second alarm was requested bringing additional fire and rescue units from Lucketts, Ashburn, Moorefield, Brambleton, and Fairfax County. The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Hazardous Materials Team responded from Dulles South to assist firefighters.

The fire in the outside cylinder storage area was quickly extinguished and firefighters confirmed that there was no extension into the school. Units remained on the scene for several hours securing several leaking gas cylinders and confirming that there was no extension into the roofing material.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the cause to be accidental in nature. Representatives from Loudoun County Public Schools are estimating damages at $50,000 and report that the school will be open for classes on Monday. There were no reported injuries to civilian or fire department personnel.

Joseph Dill