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Mt. Juliet firefighters battle school fire (photos added)

Jared Felkins • Mar 19, 2017 at 3:48 PM

Mt. Juliet firefighters extinguished a fire Sunday morning at Mt. Juliet Elementary School that damaged at least one classroom.

Firefighters responded to the school at 2521 W. Division St. at about 8 a.m. According to Mt. Juliet fire officials, the fire started in “hotel-style” heater” that activated one sprinkler head in a classroom, and the school’s sprinkler system contained the fire. Fire damaged the classroom, and four adjoining classrooms suffered water and some smoke damage.

“Something did malfunction, and it did ignite,” said Mt. Juliet fire Chief Jamie Luffman. “There was a significant fire as you can see by that wall over there and it came through the wall.”

Luffman said the sprinkler kept the fire contained until firefighters arrived and extinguished the remainder of the fire. The single sprinkler head released a significant amount of water that then leaked into adjoining classrooms, Luffman said.

“Obviously this fire was intense for a short period of time,” Luffman said.  

Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson said in an email clean-up crews responded to the school after firefighters extinguished the fire. Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours.

Johnson initially said classes would resume as normal with students returning from spring break Monday, but she later said Monday would be considered a “student holiday” for students. All teachers and staff are expected to report for work as a teacher in-service day to help get the school ready for classes Tuesday.

“We are so grateful to the Mt Juliet Fire Department for their quick response and ability to contain the fire to such a small portion of the school,” Johnson said.

Mt. Juliet firefighters also extinguished an unrelated car fire reported Sunday just after 1 p.m. on North Mt. Juliet Road near Creekside Drive. 

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