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Mon, July 15

Lightning strikes at school during storm
No injuries, but students get a 2-hour break

Central Yavapai Fire sent four engines, a battalion chief, fire investigator and a rehab rig to a reported structure fire at Bradshaw Mountain Middle School on Thursday morning.<br>
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg

Central Yavapai Fire sent four engines, a battalion chief, fire investigator and a rehab rig to a reported structure fire at Bradshaw Mountain Middle School on Thursday morning.<br> Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg

Bradshaw Mountain Middle School students had a little excitement this past Thursday morning when lightning from an approaching winter storm struck a light pole on the school's baseball field, setting off alarms in the buildings.

Principal Brian Buchholtz said the lightning struck about 8:40 a.m.

"That caused our fire alarm system to kick in and alarms to go off. It also tripped several breakers," he said.

Buchholtz said normal procedure in an evacuation is for students and faculty to go outside away from the buildings, but with the stormy weather, staff made sure the gym was safe and then ushered everyone inside.

Central Yavapai Fire Asst. Chief Charlie Cook said the lightning damaged the electrical box on the field, and set off alarms throughout the school, also damaging the alarm panel.

Firefighters from four engine companies checked all of the school's classrooms, buildings, ceilings, attics and electrical panels before allowing the students back to class. The school did not lose power after the strike, and after finding it was safe, firefighters allowed the students back to class.

Cook noted that, because the school's alarm system was not operating, a designated staff person patrolled the buildings throughout school hours.

"(That person) walks the campus, and passes each place every 30 minutes.

Buchholtz said the staff and students were able to go back to class at about 10:50 a.m.

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