CUMBERLAND — A fifth-grader was charged with making a false alarm Saturday during a youth basketball game at Braddock Middle School in which vehicles reportedly blocked access for responding Cumberland firefighters, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said.
City firefighters were dispatched for the alarm about 3 p.m. and, upon arrival at the school, found multiple vehicles parked on both sides of Franklin Street to the Holland Avenue intersection — subsequently hindering and delaying their access.
A joint investigation by the Cumberland Fire Department and deputy state fire marshals determined a visiting Northeast Elementary School student was responsible for activating the fire alarm. He was released to the custody of his parents, pending action by Allegany County Department of Juvenile Services, investigators said.
There were no injuries reported during the incident.
Fire officials remind parents, citizens and the community of the risk of parking in designated fire lanes. Parking is prohibited in fire lanes to ensure the access of safety equipment to the building in the event of an emergency as well as provide a clear space for evacuating from a burning building.
"Access is imperative," State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said in a news release. "Firefighters can't put out the fire, rescue the patient or conduct emergency operations unless they can get to the emergency."