Officials evacuated a wing of Liberty High School on Wednesday morning after fumes sickened students and staff, sending four students to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
The Liberty Fire Department responded to the high school at 200 W. Blue Jay Drive about 9:40 a.m. on reports of the smell of smoke, according to Fire Chief Mike Snider.
Firefighters arriving on the scene went to investigate the source of the odor.
“We had several students and staff that were complaining of nausea and dizziness,” Snider said. “So we also acted very quickly to begin assessing all patients.”
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Multiple ambulances responded to the high school to assist in checking out the students and staff members.
“There were about 140 students who were in that area at the time,” Snider said. “We assessed approximately 50 students.”
Four students were taken to the hospital. Snider had initially said five, but that number was later corrected.
A failure of an electrical heating unit is being blamed as the source of the fumes. The odor resembled an electrical smell.
The Fire Department went through the building monitoring for carbon monoxide but did not detect any other issues, Snider said.
Principal April Adams said in a letter to parents the odor was reported in the 400 wing of the building.
Students in that area were moved to a different part of the building while emergency personnel investigated the source of the odor.
Students were allowed to remain in the other sections of the school.
At about noon, fire officials gave school officials clearance to reopen the affected wing of the building.
Adams said that classes continued as normal, and the school planned to have a normal end to the school day.
“You can see we took it very, very seriously,” Snider said. “We responded with enough personnel and continued to request additional resources.”