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GRANITE DISTRICT HOLDING OFF ON SUIT OVER FIRE-ALARM FAILURE

Attorneys for Granite School District and West Valley City Fire Department have agreed to hold off on legal proceedings against the district over a fire alarm problem at Granger High School to allow an opportunity to resolve the issue out of court.

"We are seeking a cooperative solution," said Granite Superintendent Loren G. Burton. "We hope we can meet with the state fire marshal to discuss what has happened and our various roles in protecting the safety of our students."Earlier this month, West Valley City cited district and Granger High officials for failing to maintain the fire alarm, which had been out of service for six weeks. During that time, a fire in a locker required that two teachers be sent to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

An arraignment was to have been held June 1 before West Valley 3rd Circuit Court Judge William A. Thorne.

The fire was confined to the inside of one locker and sent smoke only into a hall in the immediate vicinity. Smoke detectors immediately triggered the visual signal in the office, showing where the problem was. The event occurred during an evening community school session in an area where no classes were being held. The fire was attributed to juveniles dropping a lighted match down an air vent. Custodians put the fire out within three to four minutes, Talbot said.

He said his school's system "was better than some systems even when it was malfunctioning, because it flashed a signal light in the office when it sensed a fire and pinpointed where in the building the fire was."

Talbot said he was surprised to be charged with negligence in the matter. He said the city fire marshal had not asked him how he was handling the problem or what was being done to fix the malfunctioning alarm.

"I cannot see any negligence," he said.