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Frenchtown Evacuated Briefly After Gas Smell

A gas smell in the kitchen prompted the evacuation, but no leak was found.

Frenchtown School was evacuated briefly Thursday, Jan. 9. Credit: EG Patch
Frenchtown School was evacuated briefly Thursday, Jan. 9. Credit: EG Patch
Frenchtown Elementary School was evacuated briefly Thursday morning after a gas smell was detected in the kitchen at about 10:40 a.m.

Initially, the children were taken outside as if for a fire drill, but because of the cold, a police escort accompanied them to EG Fire Station 2. National Grid and EG Fire investigated the entire school and no leaks were found.

"The gas odor appears to have come from the purging of the boiler and a nearby intake ventilation unit that brought the odor back into the building as it drew from the outside," said Supt. Victor Mercurio in an email to parents.   

Students and staff were back in the building by around 11:30 a.m., said Principal Cheryl Vaughn. 

"it was very cold out there," said Vaughn about the decision to bring the students to the fire station for shelter. The temperature at the time of the drill was around 25 degrees F. 

"I asked the teachers to have the children grab their coats and leave the building," she said about when the evacuation was called. 

This was the first time an off-site evacuation had been done at Frenchtown. 

"It went very, very smoothly," said Vaughn. "The children knew exactly what to do and the adults knew exactly what to do."



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