BrEAKING NEWS: New Year's Day fire call to HMS

Humboldt Fire Department Lieutenant Tom DeWinter checks pipes and the sprinkler system in the Humboldt Middle School vestibule Monday afternoon after the fire alarms went off. A sprinkler system head froze, causing sprinklers to discharge and causing a small amount of water to pool in the Humboldt Middle School cafeteria. Firefighters were called around 4 p.m. and were on the scene for about 45 minutes. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By Kent Thompson
The Humboldt Fire Department was dispatched to a New Year’s Day fire call at the Humboldt Middle School shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday.
The issue was a frozen sprinkler system head in the vestibule area between the Humboldt Middle School and the Humboldt High School.
According to Humboldt Fire Chief Jim Gronbach, “the sprinkler head broke, dispersing water on the floor, and activating the sprinkler system in the middle school cafeteria. There also was some seepage into the west hallway from the vestibule, leading into the high school.
While the vestibule is heated, there is no secondary heat source and the extremely cold weather caused the sprinkler head to break. Actual temperatures in Humboldt Monday afternoon were -5, with wind chills making the air feel about 25 to 30 degrees colder.
A water line feeding the sprinkler system runs directly from the high school to the middle school.
Firefighters found no source of fire or heat near the water pipes in the ceiling. They determined an odor after the occurrence was stale water contained in the sprinkler system.
Humboldt Principal Lori Westhoff and Middle School Principal Brenda Geitzenauer were seen vacuuming up water in the middle school cafeteria after the incident.
There was believed to be only minimal water damage due to the incident, Gronbach said.
Read this week’s Humboldt Independent for more on this breaking news story.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (8 votes)