Richland, WA – Stove top fire at elementary school contained by sprinkler system

A small fire in Richland’s newest school, Jefferson Elementary, won’t stop the doors opening Aug. 28.

A stove in the school’s life skills room was accidentally left on Tuesday, and set some paper on fire, Battalion Chief Mike Wroolie told the Herald.

Some neighbors noticed the fire and called 911 about 9:30 p.m.

Luckily, the nearly $17 million school’s sprinkler system was working as well and helped contain the fire to the stove top. Some nearby cabinets were scorched, but the fire didn’t spread any farther.

Richland School District is still assessing the damage from the fire and the water to the new school along George Washington Way.

The building is the final school being built as part of a 2013 bond. The 65,000-square-foot school can house 630 students when it’s finished this fall.

According to a post on the district’s Facebook page, the damage will not prevent the building from opening for the start of school. Photos on the district’s website show a building that is nearly finished.

Officials thanked the school’s neighbors who spotted the blaze.

The oldest part of the school was built in 1953 and was demolished as part of the project. The 1982 addition is becoming the district’s preschool center.

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