WHITMAN — Superintendent of Schools Jeff Szymaniak and Principal Dr. Joel Jocelyn report that a school within the district was evacuated today after smoke was found in the school library.
At 12:06 p.m., students and staff at the Indian Head Elementary School in Hanson saw smoke in the school library accompanied by an odor in the hallway. The school was evacuated immediately and Hanson Police and Fire were notified.
After their initial investigation, Hanson Fire deemed the school gymnasium safe, and students were moved into the gymnasium while the situation was investigated further. The school also remained in constant contact with Whitman-Hanson central administration during the entire incident.
Hanson Fire has determined that the smoke and odor stemmed from a piece of rubber from a motor in one of the school’s boilers, which had pushed light smoke through the library and a residual odor into the hallway. The fire department ventilated the entire building to eliminate the residual odor, and also checked all classrooms, bathrooms, the cafeteria and gymnasium to confirm the environment was safe for students to return.
Principal Jocelyn and Hanson Fire Chief Jerome Thompson addressed all students as they gathered in the gymnasium and explained the situation. Lunch and recess proceeded, and school was dismissed at the regularly-scheduled time.
“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our students, and we are extremely grateful for the support and guidance we received today from the Hanson Fire and Police Departments,” Principal Jocelyn said. “We are happy to report that all students are safe and we were able to conclude the day as usual.”