Discovery Public School of Faribault

Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst credits the sprinkler and alarm system with saving Discovery Public School, shown here in a 2017 file photo, from an Oct. 13 fire. (Daily News file photo)

Credit alarm and sprinkler systems with alerting firefighters and helping knock down a Sunday evening fire at Discovery Public School of Faribault.

“The building’s sprinkler system and alarm system operated correctly and alerted the Fire Department while the fire was still small. Firefighters made entry, located and extinguished the fire quickly. Without those systems, this fire had the potential to destroy that building,” Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst said in a release.

Emergency responders were called to the fire at the unoccupied Eighth Street NW building at 11:17 p.m. Sunday. Alarms were sounding upon firefighters’ arrival. The building was secure at the time and no one was inside.

According to Dienst, fire crews located the fire on the third floor and made a quick knockdown of the fire with help from the building’s sprinkler system. The majority of the fire was in the third-floor ceiling. A small fire started on the wood floor below the ceiling fire from burning materials falling from the ceiling. That fire was extinguished by the sprinkler system.

The Faribault Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office did an on-scene investigation and determined that the fire started from an electrical short in a wire that was covered with cellulose insulation in the third-floor ceiling.

Discovery School Executive Director Dan Weisser said classes this week have been cancelled while repair work is done on the building. Work on the 1913 structure, originally St. Lawrence Catholic School, began early Monday morning.

Weisser said most of the damage to the school was from water, not the fire.

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