Hot motor closes school for a day

MOUNT DESERT — Classes were cancelled at Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor on Monday after a custodian noticed an electrical burning smell when he entered the building at around 5:30 a.m.

There was no fire, according to Fire Chief Mike Bender.

The problem turned out to be an overheated motor for the ventilation system in the boiler room.

“We found the problem, isolated it and took care of it,” Bender said.

The faulty motor was replaced Monday, and school was open as usual on Tuesday.

School Superintendent Marc Gousse said the decision to call off classes Monday was “precautionary” because the nature and extent of the problem was unknown at the time.

Bender said several area fire departments responded to the Mount Desert Fire Department’s call for assistance.

“We had an engine from Bar Harbor come over and a ladder truck from Southwest Harbor,” he said. “Tremont sent a crew to our station to stand by. Trenton stood by at their station, and Ellsworth activated a rapid intervention crew, and they started toward the island.”

Once it was determined that the Ellsworth crew wasn’t needed, Bender told them they could turn around and go back to Ellsworth.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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