Charging tablets cause of fire at Lockport intermediate school

Mar. 19—LOCKPORT — Four classrooms suffered smoke and water damage Sunday afternoon following a fire caused by charging tablets at Emmet Belknap Intermediate School.

Lockport fire officials say they received a fire alarm activation from the school about 1:05 p.m. Sunday and fire crews checking an alarm panel near the front entrance to the building were directed to rooms 208 and 210.

Firefighters made their way to the second floor where they were met by smoke in the hallway. Room 208 was checked first but no fire was found. The adjoining room, 210 was filled with smoke and a thermal camera determined the fire was on a countertop area on the opposite side of the room from the door.

Crews quickly extinguished the fire with about 300-400 gallons of water. Fire crews were on the scene for about 2 and a half hours.

No injuries were reported.

It was later determined that 18 electronic tablet devices stacked in clusters of twos and threes and charging at the time of the fire, overheated and ignited, causing the fire.

The effort to extinguish the fire impacted four classrooms.

School is canceled for Monday and a determination of the rest of the week will be made soon, fire officials said.