Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fire at the elementary school

The girls had an exciting morning at school on Friday. A light in the girls' bathroom malfunctioned somehow and put the whole school on high alert. I guess smoke was in the hallway and it was really stinky—but they didn't know what was causing it yet, obviously.

The principal made an announcement informing the school that the fire alarm would be going off shortly (I don't know how she knew—though she was probably alerted to the smoke) and asked teachers to have their students quickly grab their jackets and line up. Ordinarily you're supposed to not bring anything with you, but it was cold and she didn't want her entire student body freezing outside.

Some classes heard the announcement and others didn't.

Rachel's classroom didn't hear the announcement and so they went outside without their coats.

Miriam's class was in the lunchroom and her teacher herded them quickly back to the classroom to retrieve their coats, which wasn't the quickest route to the safety of the out-of-doors, but I guess since the principal made the announcement about coats they figured it was more along the lines of a drill rather than an actual emergency.

The kids were quite surprised when a couple of fire engines roared onto the scene and firefighters jumped out, fully clad in their firefighting gear. Ladders were propped up to the roof and a couple of firefighters went to check the roof out. Others went inside the school to see if they could find the cause for all the concern. Soon the principal was escorted into the school. And soon after that the firefighters packed up all their gear and the children were allowed back inside.

So, it was just a malfunctioning light, which took several hours to repair, but was ultimately no threat of eminent danger. The girls' bathroom was cordoned off while repairs were being made and there was a lingering odour all day. The bathroom happens to be just a couple doors down from Rachel's classroom so she was right in the heart of all the excitement.

It was all anyone could talk about when I was in there on Friday afternoon and I'm sure the girls will have vague memories of this in the future (like I think I have a memory once of having a to evacuate the school for a fire alarm and it turned out someone lit the paper towels on fire (punk middle schoolers)). I figured I'd write it down so they can reconcile their memories later (since I can't seem to get them to write in their journals no matter what I do).

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