No Worries, Everyone OK—But Williamsburg Elementary Evacuates Students After 'Hot Smell' in HVAC System

Intermitted power outages cause a motor to overheat. Everyone is OK after the unexpected fire drill.

students evacuated the building Friday, after an HVAC motor overheated, Principal Julie Dye said in an e-mail letter to parents.

Dye said two intermittent power outages caused one of the motors that controls the school's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system to become overheated.

"There was no smoke or fire, but it did create a 'hot smell' in the stairwell" of the first-through-fourth-grade wing, Dye's e-mail said. "Our fire alarm was activated, students were evacuated from the building per standard emergency protocols, and the Fire Department was here within minutes to check out the building."

When the problem was identified, personnel reset the school alarms and students re-entered the building.

"In all, students were outside for about 20 minutes," Dye's e-mail said. "I’m very pleased to say that students and staff responded flawlessly to this 'surprise drill' and followed emergency exit procedures exactly as practiced in a calm, collected manner.

"As I am typing this e-mail, our district maintenance department is working on replacing the defective motor."


Information for this article was from a 304Connects e-mail notice.


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