Update: Mercy High School reopens following electrical fire

The Riverhead Fire Department firefighters at  (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)
The Riverhead Fire Department firefighters at Bishop-McGann Mercy High School Sunday evening. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Update 5:20 p.m.: Bishop-McGann Mercy High School officials have confirmed the school will be opened Tuesday.

Principal Carl Semmler also issued the following statement:

“Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School was inspected by the Riverhead Fire Marshall, the Suffolk County Department of Health and a team of private environmental engineers.  It has been determined that the building is safe for the students, faculty and staff to return tomorrow, April 1.  The major debris has been removed, the student areas have been cleaned, including the use of air scrubbers with HEPA filters.  The kitchen surfaces will continue to be disinfected tomorrow.  As such, all students and faculty have been advised that there will be no food service tomorrow and to bring a bag lunch.”


The Riverhead Fire Department responded to an electrical fire Sunday evening at Bishop-McGann Mercy High School in Riverhead.

Riverhead firefighters responded to the scene about 7 p.m. and found smoke pouring out of an exterior door located at the back of the building, officials said from the scene.

Firefighters had to break down a door and found the fire had sparked near a walk-in refrigeration unit located on the building’s lower-level, officials said.

The fire had extended to the room’s ceiling, firefighters said, though it was too soon to assess the extent of the damage.

Smoke and water did do damage to the building, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

Riverhead Fire Department members, Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps volunteers, a Riverhead Town fire marshal and PSEG employees were starting to clear the scene about 9 p.m.

Bishop-McGann Mercy High School spokesperson Robin Bay confirmed shortly after 10 p.m. the school will be closed Monday. All afternoon activities have been cancelled. Cleaning and a safety check of the building’s electrical system are planned for Monday, Ms. Bay said.

Check back for an update.