“A serious accident averted by calm heads,” was the praise of County Sheriff Department Captain Gary Davis, when speaking about the fire that extensively damaged the auto shop at Pahranagat Valley High School.
The fire occurred shortly after classes had ended for the day Wednesday, Feb. 24. A car, up on the lift in the shop, being worked on by a student, had the fuel tank fall out, hit the floor and splash gasoline all over the student’s clothes, plus spill a large amount on the shop floor.
According to police reports, shop teacher Rob Hansen sent the student home immediately to change clothes. While Hansen was putting absorbent material on the gasoline spill, a nearby heater ignited gasoline vapors and the floor and vehicle on the lift quickly became engulfed.
Hansen worked hurriedly to put out the flames, suffered some burns to his hands, but the fire was spreading quickly beyond his efforts.
Members of the Pahranagat Valley Volunteer Fire Department, sheriff’s deputies, school personnel and community members arrived and helped contain the fire to just the two-bay auto shop area. Fire did not spread to the woodshop or computer classrooms,was not burned.
However, the auto shop was extensively damaged and the insurance company has not yet given a monetary value on the loss.
Hansen was later treated for his burns and released and has since returned to the school.
Davis said the quick response of the local firefighters and others helped save the building, the woodshop area, and computer classroom, although computers and equipment did suffer damage.