A fire was contained to a heating unit in the library at Lanes Mill Elementary School in Brick, Township Fire Prevention Officer Kevin Batzel said, but the heat from a malfunctioning heater valve ignited nearby books and a desk.
Batzel said the school's fire alarm was activated, and firefighters arrived to put out the small blaze with a fire extinguisher.
No injuries were reported.
Batzel said it appeared as though a hydraulic heat ventilation valve in the library malfunctioned, creating a heat condition that ignited combustible materials in the room.
The alarm went off at 2:35, shortly before the school day ended. The fire was under control at 2:55 p.m., Batzel said, and students were allowed back in to retrieve any belongings before school busses departed. Lanes Mill has no fire sprinklers.
"The fire is out," Batzel said. "Students and staff returned to the building after evacuation considering the cold outdoor temperature."
The incident was under control after personnel from Brick Fire Stations 24 and 23 arrived, followed by Brick EMS and police. Batzel said they are still at the scene overhauling any impacted areas, and a township fire inspector will be filing a report.
"It was more a smoke condition than a fire condition," Batzel said. "Ventilating the area was the next step after using the fire extinguishers."
The school's heating system remains off and a school mechanic is working on clean-up, Batzel said.