Anthony GonzalezStaff Writer
February 8, 2013
100 elementary school students were evacuated from Bridges Charter School Friday morning after a propane gas tank caused havoc to the main building of the school.
According to the State Road Fire Department, the propane tank in the back of the main building was low on fuel and spewed fumes into the lines.
“We shut it down and are awaiting the gas company to come and resolve it,” said Chief Bradley Spicer. “The children will not be allowed back into the main building until the gas company comes out.”
The fire department found a secondary gas tank only 60 percent full and shut it down as a precaution, according to Chief Bradley.
“We had a few kids that were complaining of headaches, which is normal for propane,” said Chief Bradley.
The children were treated at the scene. During the evacuation, all students were staged in two buildings adjacent to the main building of the school.
“The school had everyone evacuated before we arrived,” said Chief Bradley, “but this is not the first time they’ve had problems with the tank.”
“We have an approved and effective safety plan and everyone was removed within two minutes,” said administrative leader Merry Lowe of Bridges Charter. “The process was very orderly, we had great support by the teachers, and the students were very calm.”
According to Lowe, the gas tanks are serviced by Ferrellgas who has a Keep Full order in effect for Bridges.
“I spoke to the service department and informed them that we want our tanks filled every Monday from now on,” said Lowe. “We can’t have this happen again.”
Ferrellgas’ website writes: “With Ferrellgas’ Keep Full service, we take responsibility for monitoring your propane level and delivering when the time is right.”
When asked if the time was right to fill a tank before it emptied, a spokesperson for Ferrellgas indicated that a Keep Full order is based off the usage, weather conditions, and other factors, but she did not want to provide information on the account. She was unaware that more than 100 children had to evacuate.
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