Squirrel Nest the Cause of Glen School Fire

No injuries were reported in the Monday afternoon fire.

A small section of roof was set ablaze late Monday afternoon after workers accidentally torched a squirrel nest, emergency responders said.

Ridgewood Public Schools Assistant Superintendent of Business Angelo DeSimone said the worker was replacing the building's roof, using a blowtorch when smoke was noticed. A teacher promptly called 911.

The building was largely unoccupied,  Chief Jim Van Goor told Patch on scene. Parents, staff and toddlers at the school could be seen at the playground in front of the school. "Fortunately, no one was injured," Van Goor said.

The nest, which he termed "very big," was quickly extinguished by responders. There is minimal damage to the roof and no notice of damage to the classrooms or building interior. The fire occurred toward the rear of the building, away from classrooms.

As of 6:00 p.m., the school was being ventilated and "will absolutely" be ready to open Tuesday, DeSimone said.

James Kleimann July 03, 2012 at 02:12 AM
These squirrels are now homeless, Boyd. And your concern is with building permits and COs? Tsk Tsk. :)
Boyd A. Loving July 03, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Despite the apparent non compliant dwelling, glad to know that no one was hurt, and that Ridgewood's bravest show up promptly for even the smallest of fires.
James Bombace July 03, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Not to diminish your concerns about permits and a certificate of Occupancy the more important question is did the squirrels pay their property taxes?
Boyd A. Loving July 03, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I believe the entire parcel at that location is classified as tax exempt. However, perhaps the squirrels are willing to negotiate some sort of PILOT program.
James Bombace July 03, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Of course your correct that the property is tax exempt. I suspect these squirrels are not your average squirrel since they appear to know how to get around the Village laws quite easily.


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