Area school evacuated; smoke sets off fire alarm
by Rachel Davis
Aug 01, 2012 | 1911 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Emergency personnel with the Sumiton Fire Department and Regional Paramedical Services return to their vehicles after responding to a call at Sumiton School. Photo by: Rachel Davis
Emergency personnel with the Sumiton Fire Department and Regional Paramedical Services return to their vehicles after responding to a call at Sumiton School. Photo by: Rachel Davis
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SUMITON — Sumiton Elementary and Middle School staff evacuated the building Tuesday morning after fire alarms indicated smoke inside the building. Some staff members also reported smelling smoke in the front offices just prior to the alarm.

Sumiton Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and cleared the building but found no evidence of fire.

The source of the smoke was found to be an air conditioning unit on the school’s roof. Crews from the Walker County Board of Education also responded and repaired the malfunctioning air unit.

Sumiton Mayor Petey Ellis, who was on scene Tuesday morning, expressed relieve that it was a minor issue.

“I’m glad it wasn’t something serious,” Ellis said. “This school is a vital part of our community.”

Although some employees were in the building at the time, the school’s 800+ students won’t return to school until Aug. 20. The air units are back in working order and should be fine for the first day of school.

Even though there was no real threat this time, Principal Paige Skalnik said she was proud of the way her staff responded.

“My employees acted promptly in calling the fire department and notifying proper authorities,” Skalnik said. “I appreciate the hard work of all the entities involved.”