MURRIETA – A water bottle that a student tossed onto a light fixture in a interior hallway at Murrieta Mesa High School started a small fire that forced the emergency evacuation of the school Thursday, Jan. 26. The school is located at 24801 Monroe Avenue in Murrieta.
The fire, that was reported around 11 a.m., prompted four engine companies, one truck company, a battalion chief, and a fire marshal to respond to the high school. The fire took place between classes so there were very few students in the building at the time.
“Students were not in class as the incident occurred during break,” Murrieta Valley School District Public Information Officer Karen Parris wrote in a tweet about the fire. “Although class was not in session, the remaining students and teachers in the building were evacuated.”
“There was minimal smoke damage… at Murrieta Mesa High School this morning when a water bottle flipped onto a light fixture and a small fire occurred in the hallway of the Renaissance building,” Parris explained.
While firefighters and other emergency first responders were rushing to the school, a teacher – who has not yet been identified – managed to extinguish the fire before it could grow out of control.
“A quick-acting school teacher used a 10 pound dry-chemical fire extinguisher to extinguish a burning plastic water bottle,” a fire official explained in a social media press release after the fire.
After Murrieta Fire Department officials assessed the situation and determined there was no further danger to students or faculty the evacuation was lifted and students were allowed to return to the building for their fourth period class, according to Parris.
MMHS Principal Steve Ellis notified parents to let them know about the incident.
There were no reported injuries to students, faculty, or fire officials.
This is a developing story. Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.