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Local High School Fire Caused By Solar Panels

Owen J. Roberts fire blamed on solar panels. Fire occurred over food-serving cafeteria posing health concerns.

Owen J. Roberts fire
Owen J. Roberts fire

Possible toxic fire occurred above food-serving cafeteria.

Firefighters were called to Owen J. Roberts High School Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out on the roof of the building.  The cause of the fire, still under investigation, originated from roof top solar panels.  Officials say the fire caused $50,000 in damages. 

The fire comes one day after Reuters published a report outlining the dangers solar panels pose to firefighters.  Concerns of electrocution, and a lack of roof top access present new challenges for emergency response personnel. 

Risks from solar fires are not specific to emergency response personnel.  Toxic materials are released from 'green' photovoltaic modules (solar panels) during a fire.  Inhalation of these fumes pose a risk to human health.  The concern is that the fire occurred over the cafeteria where students gather to consume food, and where food is stored and prepared.   Is the air in the cafeteria safe? Does it pose a risk?  These questions demand an answer.

For the safety of the students and faculty, many would expect the school to conduct independent air quality tests. 

The circuit for which the solar panels provide power has been isolated and the school will be in session Monday September 8th.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Simon Buckingham Is Not The Truth November 07, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Mr Bartman, where on earth have you been? Posting on patch isn't the same without us trading blows.

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