Incidents cause alarm but little damage in Wellsville

WELLSVILLE – A trio of incidents over the last four days, including one at Garfield Elementary School, have kept Wellsville firefighters moving at a hectic pace since late last week.

It began at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Friday, when a fire alarm was activated at Garfield Elementary School, 1600 Lincoln Ave. Heavy smoke in the gymnasium had prompted school administrators to activate the alarm and evacuate the building. Garfield students were transported to Wellsville High School for the duration of the incident.

Three Wellsville units were joined by personnel from Highlandtown and Liverpool Township fire departments at the scene.

According to Wellsville volunteer firefighter Steve Heaton, the source of the smoke was an air filter that had overheated and burned up inside an overhead heater unit in the gym. Other than scorching and smoke, there was no other damage. The reason for the filter’s ignition is still unknown.

Firefighters shut off power to the heater, which stopped the unit’s smoking. Heaton said no further firefighting measures were necessary. Afterwards, the gymnasium doors were opened and large fans were used to pull the smoke out of the building.

On Sunday, six Wellsville firefighters were dispatched to the home of Terri Mason at 43019 Old Irondale Road, after sparks from a metal grinder touched off gasoline fumes in the basement garage of the home. Jay Mason, who was working in the basement and put in the call for help at 2:40 p.m., was not injured.

Highlandtown Volunteer Fire Department also sent personnel to the scene, but their assistance not required.

According to the report, gasoline had been leaking from an ATV that was stored in the basement. The blaze was confined to the corner storage area of the room, however, and was quickly contained and extinguished. There was no further damage, and no injuries were reported.

Smoldering insulation in an attic area of 41581 State Route 39, owned by Dennis Edmond, prompted a call to the Wellsville Fire Department on Monday afternoon. Two units were sent to the home, and Highlandtown VFD provided mutual assistance at the scene.

The fire was contained to a small area of the attic above the bathroom, though a cause has not been determined. No injuries were reported.