Principal thwarts school fire

Brownell Mountain School teacher Temple Bragg with her students. (Courtesy photo)

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

National Fire Prevention Week was Oct. 7-13—except at Brownell Mountain School, where it came a week early.

On Oct. 4, the Williston Fire Department received a call that a fire had broken out in a storage closet at BMS, a one-room schoolhouse located in the basement of Williston Seventh-day Adventist Church on Vermont 2A. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire had been almost completely extinguished.

Fire Chief Ken Morton gave credit to Temple Bragg, who serves as both principal and teacher at BMS.

“She did a great job. She did what you would hope one would do,” Morton said. “She ushered the children outdoors, dialed 911, knocked the fire down with a fire extinguisher and then closed the door to the room and exited the building.”

Bragg, in turn, gave credit to her nine students.

“They were perfect. They walked right outside quietly, they all stood in line and they waited there until I told them it was clear to go in,” Bragg said. “They did an excellent job. I’m proud of them.”

Morton observed that the BMS incident is a perfect example of why fire safety and prevention training is important.

“You do the drills, you practice, so when there really is an incident or a fire, everyone doesn’t stop and wonder. They just take action, and that was proven by what happened last week,” Morton said.