Homer High School evacuated after water main break

The fire alarms were activated Tuesday afternoon

The fire alarms at Homer High School on Tuesday were activated and the building was evacuated due to a water main break, according to a Tuesday update posted on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Facebook page.

One of the pipes above the boys locker room in the east wing of the building broke and activated the system at about 3:30 p.m., Principal Douglas Waclawski said.

“Luckily it was just a small crack in the pipes because if those things break entirely they can release about 100 gallons a minute; it could have been a much larger mess,” Waclawski said.

The Homer Fire Department arrived on scene immediately and representation from the borough came to assess the school, he said.

Buses were already at the school because it was close to the end of the day. As of Wednesday afternoon, the school still didn’t have the sprinkler system or fire alarm system available so there were two observers walking through the building on fire watch, Waclawski said. School events that occur before or after regular school hours are scheduled to resume Thursday morning.

The school has to fix the pipes and recharge the fire suppression system, Waclawski said. A company from Anchorage will then reset the fire alarms.

Waclaswki said despite the interruption staff and students handled the situation well.

“The kids did an awesome job on the unexpected fire drill; the staff did an awesome job,” he said. “Everyone knew what they were doing. We gave everyone directions and the whole thing was pretty smooth and organized. I was very proud of them.”