Continued coverage: Fire extinguisher discharge called for school evacuation

Back to Article
Back to Article

Continued coverage: Fire extinguisher discharge called for school evacuation

By Kait Bedell, Londonderry High School

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After a fire extinguisher was accidentally discharged in the main lobby just after 10:00 am on Thursday, Oct. 3, students and faculty members at LHS were evacuated from the building.

Principal Jason Parent,  Assistant Principal Sloper, school resource officer Wiggin, and a dining service employee were the first to respond to the incident, carrying the fire extinguisher out to the nearby memorial garden.

“At first I was surprised because I didn’t know what it was,” Parent said. “When you see this [smoke-like substance] fill the area, it’s concerning because it was foggy and so widespread at that point.”

Since the incident occurred only a few minutes into D period, most students were in classrooms while the lobby filled with the substance.

The school was first put into secure campus due to the situation, but as the area began to fill with the dust-like substance, the fire alarms were soon triggered. Within a few minutes all students and faculty members were evacuated from the building.

The school district called the fire department as well as the health inspector, and it was concluded that the contents of the extinguisher were not hazardous.

Although the substance was not toxic, the school took extra precautions by closing off the cafe, kitchen, and vending machines surrounding the area.

“Safety is always our number one priority and we want to make sure that students who are eating in our cafeteria are safe,” said Amanda Vanezia, the Director of Dining Services.

After having to throw out all of the contaminated food, the LHS dining service workers began preparing food out of the neighboring Mathew Thorton kitchen and transporting the food to the LHS gym in order to provide meals for all students.

“I’m going to credit all the dining services and our P.E. and health department,” Parent said. “Everybody kind of came together in this emergency and stepped up in the moment, and I was proud of that.”

Within 20 minutes of the incident, students were being served French bread pizza, chip bags, apples, carrots, and water or milk for free in the gym.

Athletic Director Howard Sobolov was impressed with how faculty in the gym came together to “make the best of a bad situation,” and kept food lines from being chaotic.

Along with the staff’s combined efforts, the students also contributed in allowing the remainder of the school day to run smoothly.

“I’m proud of our students and our staff,” Parent said. “They were orderly, compliant, respectful and they continued their day.”

Parent said he is happy with how the school reacted to the incident and would like to acknowledge everybody’s cooperation.

“Although it was a disruption, it didn’t feel like a major interruption to the day,” Parent said. “It really felt orderly, and that’s a credit to the student body and the staff.”

This story was originally published on The Lancer Spirit on October 9, 2019.