Light bulb causes fire at Columbus North: Fire investigators

The Columbus Fire Department responded to a fire in the Columbus North High School Judson Erne Auditorium Monday morning. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, says that firefighters were call to the scene at approximately 7:45 a.m. He says that firefighters

Photo courtesy of the Columbus Fire Dept.
Photo courtesy of the Columbus Fire Dept.

arrived on the scene within four minutes to find that all students had been evacuated and the fire extinguished by Principal David Clark, Assistant Principal John Green and CPD Student Resource Officer Eric Stevens. Wilson says the trio used two dry powder extinguishers to put out the fire.

Firefighters say that approximately 25 individual seats, in five separate rows, were damaged by fire. They then set up ventilation fans to remove smoke from the area. At that point, firefighters and school administrators determined that if was safe for the students to return back into the school.

Initially, the musical arts area of the school was closed as the smoke was removed from that area, said Wilson. He adds that the area was re-opened for student use. Firefighters remained on the scene until approximately 10:22 a.m.

Investigators have determined that the fire was caused by an overhead light. They say that an overhead light bulb blew, causing super-heated glass to contact a plastic light cover. The plastic cover then began to melt causing the molten plastic to contact the seating below. As the molten plastic accumulated on the seats below, the fabric ignited, spreading to adjacent seats. No injuries were reported and a damage estimate is not available, however it is believed to substantial due to the smoke.