Portland, ME – Fire at high school contained by sprinkler system; No injuries reported

A fire that broke out early Sunday morning on the third floor of Westbrook High School was contained by an internal sprinkler system and by firefighters who scaled ladders to gain access to the classroom where it originated.

The sprinkler system at the unoccupied Stroudwater Street school activated, preventing the fire from spreading from the classroom to the rest of the wing, the Westbrook Fire Department said in a news release posted on its Facebook page.

Fire crews manning Engine 4 encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the third floor upon their arrival. The fire was reported at 4:59 a.m. Firefighters entered the building and were able to quickly locate the source of the fire.

Engine 4 positioned the truck ladder to connect to the third floor. A hose line was stretched across the ladder and crews on the inside used the hose to bring the fire under control. Photos posted on Facebook show two exterior classroom windows that had to be broken to gain entry. The exterior walls of the classroom were charred by the heat.

An investigation revealed that the cause of the was electrical in nature, likely due to the improper use of an extension cord with a window air conditioner, according to the fire department.

The fire department received mutual aid from the South Portland Fire Department, the Portland Fire Department and the Gorham Fire Department. Falmouth and Scarborough sent units to cover the city’s fire stations.

No injuries were reported.