Grant Elementary School evacuated after fire alarm sounds

Friday, September 3, 2010 | 5:16 p.m. CDT; updated 4:39 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 4, 2010

COLUMBIA — Grant Elementary School was evacuated after fire alarms were activated Friday, but, fortunately, there was no fire.

The alarms sounded about 1:30 p.m. The smoke was the result of repairs being done on pipes in the boiler room that required soldering.

After physical education teacher Laura Dye assessed the situation and discovered there was, indeed, smoke, principal Beverly Borduin ordered the evacuation.

The school had just been given the all-clear after a lockdown stemming from what appeared to be an armed robbery at US Bank near the elementary school. Assistant Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said that because of this, "utmost caution" was used in the fire alarm evacuation.

One fire truck and two division chiefs were dispatched to the scene at 1:38 p.m. After a short investigation, they discovered there was no blaze. Students and faculty were allowed to re-enter the building about 1:50 p.m.

Borduin said later that Grant staff and children handled both the lockdown and the fire evacuation calmly. "They returned to their learning immediately," she said, "and finished the day focused on their work."

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