ROBINSON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Students were evacuated Wednesday morning from Propel Montour Middle/High School in Robinson Township after a fire alarm was pulled and some students were covered in foam.
The school is located on Steubenville Pike. Emergency crews, including police, firefighters, paramedics and Hazmat teams, were all called to the scene around 10 a.m.
Everyone was evacuated after school officials said a high school student in a chemistry lab pulled the alarm on a fire suppression system, which released a chemical into the air. School officials said it may have been an accident, but police are looking into whether or not it was done on purpose.
Police said around a dozen kids were in the lab when the fire suppression system was pulled. A staff member pulled the fire alarm after that to notify police and firefighters of what happened.
About half of those students complained that their eyes, noses and throats were irritated and burning from the material released into the air.
#BREAKING: Students & staff @ Propel Montour Middle/Hs had to be evacuated after someone pulled fire suppression system in Chem lab. Around dozen kids evaluated & about half had irritation in eyes & burning in throats. Police believe student pulled system & charges likely @KDKA pic.twitter.com/FDP9zfw2CE
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) March 27, 2019
“The fire suppression system is like a fire extinguisher. It has a powder type material that comes out to suppress anything. Once that happened or became airborne, it, obviously, affected students,” said Robinson Township Police Sergeant Noel Pilewski.
“There was no incident that would have required the system to be activated. So we are in the process of talking to the class to find out why the system was activated,” said Propel School spokesperson Sonya Toler.
Classes resumed after the incident. However, the chemistry lab where this happened was off limits while it was being cleaned up.
Parents were notified about the incident.
All the students were checked over at the school, and no one required hospitalization.
Police said the student that pulled the fire suppression system could face charges if it turns out it was done intentionally.