School Evacuated Because Of Gas Odor

Incident Type
Fuel Spill
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 3:33pm
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 3:41pm
200 Block Schenk Street
Madison, WI

Firefighters were sent to Whitehorse Elementary School Thursday for a report of a gas odor inside the school.

No students were in the school at the time, but all the teachers and staff successfully evacuated prior to Engine Company 13’s arrival. Firefighters spoke with the principal, who said she smelled gas in the foyer as well as in a particular wing of the school.

Firefighters did not detect an odor of gas as they entered the foyer with their handheld Sensit meter. The meter indicated no peculiarities in the air either. The boiler room was also checked and cleared of all hazards.

During their search of the property, firefighters made contact with two maintenance personnel who advised they spilled some gasoline while filling up their “weed whackers.” They advised this might have been the source of the gas smell.

One of the maintenance workers was feeling unwell as a result of the gasoline vapors, and an ambulance was called to care for him. He was not taken to the hospital.

The school principal was advised of the update from maintenance personnel as MGE arrived to check the building once again for a possible natural gas leak. No hazardous conditions were found, and the staff was advised they could re-enter the building.


Posted 09/01/2017 - 8:12am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)