Overheated motor closes school

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 on an air handling unit in the basement.

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

School Superintendent Marc Gousse said the faulty motor is being replaced today and that the school is expected to reopen Tuesday. He said school was called off Monday as a precaution before students and most of the staff arrived.

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 they weren’t needed, Bender said he 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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