Everyone safe after gas leak prompts preschool evacuation

Everyone safe after gas leak prompts preschool evacuation
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

ROSSFORD, OH (WTOL) - Almost 50 students are back home safe Friday after they had to be evacuated from their preschool and extracurricular classes because of a gas leak.

At 8:20 a.m., the staff of EduCare Academy in Rossford say they heard a loud boom in the building, they could then smell natural gas seeping into their rooms. So all of the students were immediately ushered out of the building and into the outdoor play area.

"Well certainly when it involves kids people get very very nervous and protective of their children which is understandable," said Rossford Fire Chief Josh Drouard.

Rossford Fire crews could also smell the gas, so Columbia Gas was called in.

EduCare has a preexisting agreement with the Rossford Lanes bowling alley to be the schools staging area for emergencies. Students waited there for parents to arrive.

"Well, I was at work and I got a call and I was really terrified. So, I rushed over here," said mother Biance, who was picking up her son Braxton. "But I'm just glad that everything is okay and there wasn't anything worse."

The area was cleared in a little over an hour, and though there was no immediate threat, school leaders are proud of how their staff responded to the sudden incident.

"Well you know, this was the first time we had to utilize our emergency plan, and they did so very effectively," said EduCare Vice President Bryce Bookmiller. "As part of our orientation process, all of our teachers at intake are taught what to expect. And they did an absolutely wonderful job as what is expected."

The school remained closed throughout the day as maintenance crews and Columbia Gas personnel worked to locate the source of the leak.

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