Laptop catches fire in N.C. classroom, forcing school evacuation

A student at Lewisville Elementary School was using a laptop Wednesday morning when it began to smolder. The student yelled “fire,” and the teacher immediately evacuated the classroom. (Source: Lewisville Fire Department/Facebook)

LEWISVILLE, N.C. (WXII/CNN) - Officials in a North Carolina school district are recalling approximately 20,000 Chromebooks after one of the laptops overheated and began smoldering inside a third grade classroom.

A student at Lewisville Elementary School was using a laptop Wednesday morning when it began to smolder. The student yelled “fire,” and the teacher immediately evacuated the classroom.

A staff member used a fire extinguisher and suppressant on the laptop before firefighters arrived.

Another staff member pulled the fire alarm, and the rest of the school was evacuated.

Principal Angie Choplin says she is relieved no one was hurt.

"Right now, our mindset is, 'Whew, take a breath’ and that our children are safe. That is always our top priority is our children, and once we knew that every child in this building was safe and every teacher… It is scary,” she said.

Officials say they are continuing to investigate why the laptop overheated, but it appears the problem may have originated in the battery. The laptop was not being charged at the time of the incident.

Leaders with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are recalling 20,000 Chromebooks of the 2015 model, the same as the laptop that caught fire. The laptops will be broken down and sold for parts.

The school district plans to examine newer model Chromebooks before Monday to determine if those can still be used. They may also reevaluate when new mobile devices are purchased, which is currently every five years.

Copyright 2019 WXII, Hearst via CNN. All rights reserved.



 
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