July 10, 2020

Cayman: Students safe after smoke sighted at John Gray High School


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The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL) confirms that there was a sighting of smoke under the stairs leading up to one of the modular classrooms at the John Gray High School (JGHS) at approximately 7:55 am Wednesday morning.

Upon the sighting, students were immediately evacuated from all buildings and taken to the school fields and muster points, in keeping with the school’s emergency protocol. While the students were being secured and accounted for, JGHS staff alerted the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) who arrived to the scene swiftly. Members of the JGHS staff and security team were able to extinguish a small fire which was then further attended to by the CIFS. Students were then taken from the muster points to the gymnasium where the students received updates whilst the CIS did a further investigation and thorough check of the incident site and campus on a whole.

The CIFS Domestic Services who responded to the incident has provided an account of the incident, “At 7:55 am, the George Town Fire Station received a report of the sighting of smoke coming from at JGHS. We arrived on the scene at approximately 8:06am, to find that the area had already been keenly attended to by the school’s security. Our main goal was to completely cool the area. Therefore, we completely saturated the area by use of water from the fire truck, to prevent a rekindling of the fire. The use of an extinguisher was very good action on the school’s part.”

Principal of JGHS, Mr. Jon Clark provided further comment on the incident, “I am very thankful that there was no injury or harm to any of our students. I am very pleased with the response of our staff, students, security team, CIFS and the RCIPS who were called and responded. Everyone worked very well together. Our primary concern was the safety of our students and staff.” Principal Clark further commented, “There is no real visible fire damage on the classrooms other than a step leading to the classroom. We will undertake any refurbishing work as needed”.

The school resumed classes and business at approximately at 10:00 am however, the classrooms affected have been cordoned off and will be inaccessible until further notice. The incident is being investigated to establish the cause of the fire.

The Department of Education services aims to provide a further update on the cause of the fire once the investigation is complete.

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