UPDATE: Bay District Schools ends bonfire tradition after explosion
BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After an explosion last night during a Mosley High School homecoming bonfire, Bay District Schools has decided to end the over 50-year tradition.
In a statement sent out on Thursday afternoon, the district stressed how grateful they were no students or authorities were hurt during the fire, and apologized for the scare that parents, students, and staff had, as well as neighbors who lived close to the location.
They went on to emphasize that last night’s situation was a “worst-case scenario”, and their safety protocols, along with first responders, ensured the fire was quickly put out.
The full statement from BDS can be read below.
“We’d like to start by noting how incredibly grateful we are that our customary safety protocols ensured no students were standing adjacent to the bonfire at the time it was lit. We are also very happy to report that our deputy was unharmed in the explosion, even though the videos might indicate otherwise. And, before we go on to discuss what we’ve learned from this, we would also like to apologize to all of those who were disturbed by the explosion last night. We know that was very frightening for many of our students, staff and for neighbors who live close to the school, and we are very sorry for all of that.
Bonfires at high school homecoming events have been a part of our schools for at least the last 50 years. They are always conducted in conjunction with law enforcement and fire departments, and safety is always paramount. Last night’s bonfire was constructed the same way it has been for decades. As recently as yesterday, we checked in with area first responders who coordinate this with us each year to ensure we had done everything needed to proceed, and we were given permission to go ahead. We are aware that residents are being asked to exercise caution while burning yard debris etc., and we believe that the on-site presence of both law enforcement and firefighters added to our existing safety protocols for the protection of our students, our campus and our community.
Even though last night’s situation was definitely a worst-case scenario for us, our standard safety protocols and the availability of first responders on the scene ensured that no one was hurt and that the fire was quickly contained. Safety is always our number one priority however, so we have made the decision to prohibit any bonfires, or similar events, on any of our campuses going forward.
Again, we are incredibly grateful that no one was harmed last night and that first responders quickly eliminated any fire threat from the bonfire. The homecoming bonfire has been a wonderful tradition for generations of students and while we’re saddened to see that tradition end, we will always make decisions that err on the side of caution when it comes to safety.”
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