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Fire Forces Evacuation Of Westport Polling Place

The Westport Fire Department put out a fire at the Greens Farms Elementary School polling place Tuesday.
The Westport Fire Department put out a fire at the Greens Farms Elementary School polling place Tuesday. Photo Credit: Bill Wargo, via Westport Fire Department Facebook

WESTPORT, Conn. -- A polling station at Greens Farms Elementary School in Westport was evacuated Tuesday morning after a fire on the outside of the building.

The Westport Fire Department responded to the school on Morningside Drive South at 9:17 a.m. Tuesday. 

The first arriving fire department units found a blaze on the exterior of the building in the area of the natural gas service and requested additional units to assist, fire officials said. 

Although the school was not in session, it was open as a polling place for the presidential election, and the building was evacuated by firefighters with the assistance of the Westport Police Department.

The fire was quickly extinguished with the damage limited to a plastic fence and the surrounding landscape. The building was quickly reopened so that voting could continue, fire officials said.

An investigation found that the cause of the fire was improperly disposed of smoking material, fire officials said.

The Westport Fire Department is reminding residents to use care when discarding any smoking material. 

"With the ongoing drought the ground and landscape has dried out enough that brush and forest fires have become a concern. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has set the forest fire danger at 'moderate' and given the upcoming forecast the landscape and forests will continue to dry," the Westport Fire Department said in a press release. 

"With this in mind, we would remind everyone to please completely extinguish any discarded smoking material, carefully dispose of any hot charcoal only in a metal can with a tight cover, and obey the local ordinance with regards to open burning."

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