August 25, 2022
At 12:29 PM Thursday August 25, 2022 the Burlington and West Burlington Fire Departments responded to Sunnyside Elementary School, at 2040 Sunnyside Avenue in Burlington, for smoke being reported in classrooms. Burlington firefighters arrived at 12:33 PM to find the fire alarms activated and the school already evacuated. Firefighters did find light smoke in the classrooms in the northeast corner of the building. Firefighters located the issue in a mechanical room in the building’s mezzanine.
The investigation revealed that an outside contractor, repairing a leak in a copper line on the building’s HVAC units, unknowingly ignited a small amount of insulation going into the air handling system. When the system was turned on it pushed smoke into the classrooms. The building’s fire alarm system activated at the same time the teachers reported the smoke. The smoldering insulation had been extinguished prior to the firefighter’s arrival. Firefighters ventilated the affected area before allowing student to return to the building. Students returned to the building in approximately 25 minutes.
Twelve Burlington firefighters responded to the call and were assisted by two West Burlington firefighters responding on automatic aid. Burlington Police and school maintenance also assisted at the scene. Firefighters cleared the scene at 1:07 PM. There were no injuries.