Gas leak occurs at Sumiton Middle School

By RICK WATSON
Posted 1/29/19

SUMITON – Sumiton Middle School was evacuated on Monday, just as they were about to start serving lunch, due to a gas leak in the lunchroom.Lunchroom manager Robbie Barrett first contacted …

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Gas leak occurs at Sumiton Middle School

Posted

SUMITON – Sumiton Middle School was evacuated on Monday, just as they were about to start serving lunch, due to a gas leak in the lunchroom.

Lunchroom manager Robbie Barrett first contacted Principal Chris Stephenson to say there was some kind of problem in the lunchroom at the oven area. When Barrett brought the concern to Stephenson, he made the decision to evacuate.

 “We played it safe and evacuated immediately and contacted all the parties that needed to be contacted,” Stephenson said. “Once the children were outside, teachers checked the roles three times to ensure they accounted for every child.” 

Currently, there are 550 students enrolled at SMS. The school practices evacuations once a month and this evacuation went off seamlessly, according to Stephenson. “The kids handled it like champs,” he said.

The Sumiton Fire Department responded to address the gas leak, according to communications supervisor Nick Key.

They received a report that there might have been a small fire, but Key thinks it was probably electricity arcing around the leak.

Once the evacuation was lifted, the school day continued as normal.

"The kids are back in, and we are serving lunches in their classrooms," Walker County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joel Hagood confirmed around noon Monday. 

“Everybody chipped in to make that work,” Stephenson added.

The county maintenance team is investigating to see what caused the gas leak and will make repairs, according to Stephenson. 

The repairs will not impact the school's ability to remain open. 

Hagood said the gas leak caused no damage at Sumiton Middle.