Electrical fire cancels school

Fire department orders campus closed after an early morning transformer explosion on Feb. 10.

Angela Yang, Asst. News Editor

Students and faculty members of Diamond Bar High School were granted an unexpected three-day weekend when an early-morning electrical explosion closed the campus on Feb. 10.

The school’s main transformer failed at around 6:45 a.m., causing the city’s fire department to declare that there was no school for the day.

“Friday morning, a call came across from a teacher that there was a loud, startling noise, and there was a report that there was smoke coming out of the main transformer down by the lower 200 building,” Principal Reuben Jones said.

Jones called 911, and the fire department arrived to investigate.

They recommended that the campus shut off its power to prevent further danger.

Immediately, Jones broadcasted a school-wide public announcement to evacuate the campus.

Students were not allowed to enter the school and were instructed to head for home. Students who were already on campus were evacuated.

The message was spread to faculty and students through email, as well as the community through Facebook and Twitter.

According to Jones, there will not be an extra day of school added on at the end of the year to make up for the missed day.

State laws require all public schools to meet a mandatory minimum number of minutes of school that must be held each year.

The unplanned deduction of a school day means that DBHS will not meet these requirements for this year; however, there are waivers to excuse schools from the requirement for certain cases.

“At this point, we are told that we don’t have have to [add an extra day] because we were instructed to close campus by the fire department,” Jones said. “I think you could submit a hardship waiver that says this was instructed by the fire department, so that’s what we’ll do if we have to to make sure that we don’t have to make up the day.”

The Performing Arts rally planned for Feb. 10 was also rescheduled for the following Friday.

The explosion of the main transformer was the result of faulty underground wires.

According to operations manager Mike Bromberg, a contractor installed a new wire and cleaned the transformer.

A generator was used to power the school over the weekend, and the transformer was working again by Sunday afternoon.

“You never know when wires are going to go bad, but we don’t foresee any issues like that happening in the near future,” Bromberg said.

According to Jones, the issue was simply a matter of keeping up with routine maintenance.