By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
A short in wiring of a furnace unit at East Elementary School near Pendleton caused the school to be evacuated just before 8 a.m. Monday.
Adams Township Fire Chief John Lowe said the wires on the motor burned themselves out — no flames were ever showing to staff or firefighters — blowing smoke into one of the school’s classrooms.
Firefighters from Adams Township and Pendleton fire departments responded to the school, 893 U.S. 36, responded to the fire as well as Indiana State Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Department and Pendleton police to help control traffic as parents and buses began to arrive to drop students off for school.
Assistant Principal Eric Schill said school staff and the handful of students inside the building were safely evacuated and all safety protocol was executed. As soon as it was deemed safe, students were brought to the gymnasium.
The smoke was in the first and second grade hallway. Those students would remain in the gym until that hallway could be ventilated while the rest were able to return to their classrooms upon arrival, Schill said. They expected everyone would be able to be back in their classrooms by late morning.
“We were abundantly cautious,” Schill said. “And everything worked as it is supposed to.”
The school would change the ISTEP schedule because of the disruption but otherwise, he said everything was expected to be back to normal by late morning.
Lowe said the school’s maintenance crew was there to inspect the wiring and ensure everything was safe.
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