Malfunctioning alarm almost closes Cortlandt school
A malfunctioning fire alarm almost closed the Walter Panas High School Tuesday morning. When firefighters responded to the false alarm, they found the alarm system was not working in parts of the building. At that point, the fire chief's first reaction was to order the school closed. School officials, however, objected to closing the school. After several hours of negotiations, it was decided a fire watch, using 12 people patrolling the halls, would be adequate to provide fire protection in those areas where the alarms didn't work. The district called in the fire alarm company to make repairs after school is dismissed for the day. As a result, all afternoon activities have been canceled. If the work is not finished by Tuesday, the superintendent says they may continue using the fire-watch system until the alarms are working properly.