Source of fire at Bayside HS identified

By Tom Momberg

Authorities have determined the source of a fire that broke out at Bayside High School Monday which started in a student’s locker.

The source of the fire was a cell phone strapped to a nine-volt battery and a AA battery, which police sources said may have been the remnants of a homemade mobile charging device. The device was found inside a locker contained within a first-floor classroom, police said.

Public information officers said police were initially wary of the device, but ruled out the device as suspicious after the bomb squad was called to the scene to investigate.

A 9-1-1 call was made from the school at 10:03 a.m. and faculty, students and staff were evacuated immediately by the school administration, according to the NYPD.

At least 30 firefighters and six trucks responded to the scene, but there were no reports of injuries, said a FDNY spokesman.

The Fire Department said the flames were put under control at 11:24 a.m.

All trucks had left the school, located at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St. in Bayside, after the fire was extinguished, but the building remained evacuated until mid-afternoon. Several specialty police units and school safety officers were on scene to investigate and secure the area as students and teachers waited on the front lawn.

Nobody has been charged and the investigation was ongoing, according to the NYPD.

Students were taken to local elementary and middle schools around noon, but classes eventually resumed at the high school toward the end of the school day.

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