Electrical fire forces temporary evacuation of Hutch Tech

Jun 9, 2016

A small electrical fire forced the evacuation of Hutch Tech high school in Buffalo Thursday morning.

More than 1,000 students arriving for classes around 8 a.m. Thursday were not allowed to enter the building after a high-voltage line caused a small fire in the building's boiler room.

Assistant Superintendent Sabatino Cimato says proper procedures were followed during Thursday morning's fire at Hutch Tech.
Credit Eileen Buckley/WBFO News

Initially, the district planned to send students home, but National Grid was soon able to restore power. Assistant Superintendent Sabatino Cimato says the "all clear" was given around 9:20 a.m.

"Because it was happening during arrival and rush hour at the same time, the police were very concerned. When you have almost 1,200 kids coming into a building and having to halt, and you have all that rush hour traffic going up Elmwood Avenue, it can become a dangerous situation quickly," Cimato said.

A large presence of Buffalo Police along South Elmwood Avenue helped ensure the large crowd of students remained safe throughout the ordeal. The district's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Eberle, says staff and students did an excellent job following emergency procedures. 

Hutch Tech students await word to go back into building.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"A phenomenal job by the whole entire staff and student body here. I'm really proud of all of them," Eberle said.

There is no word on what caused the electric line to catch fire.