PRINCETON — In response to multiple requests, this week I will be taking a look back at the fire that destroyed the Princeton Junior High School (now Straley Elementary) in 1977.
The fire started shortly after 9 a.m. in the third floor boys bathroom. According to firefighters at the time, that area was completely engulfed in flame by the time they arrived and left only a sewer vent pipe that ran along a vertical steel beam. A more detailed account of what was left after the fire will appear later on this week.
The fire followed in the wake of the Board of Education's acceptance of more than 60 school safety requirements for Mercer County schools from the State Fire Marshall that included: cutting off all open inside stairwells with approved fire and smoke encloures (fire doors), closing off transioms with "one hour fire rated materials", providing ventilation for chemistry rooms, and recharging overdue fire extinguishers.
As the week progresses, I will take a look at what happened after the fire and other other related stories.