Air Conditioner Sparks Fire Scare

A motor broke in a heating and air conditioning unit yesterday near the science classrooms, creating smoke and setting off the fire alarm. According to Facilities Administrator Bill Belke, the broken unit never posed any real threat to the school and will be replaced within a week. The climate near the science classrooms may be affected slightly, but there are two other Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units in the science hallways, and dozens others throughout the school, which will continue to work as the broken unit is replaced.

The schools HVACs are 10 to 15 years old, and even though the malfunction was not expected, Belke noted that things like this happen from time to time. If more units break, which may happen over the next five to 10 years, the school will simply replace them as they fail. Belke estimated that replacing the broken unit will not be especially expensive, probably costing “less than $1,000”.

Despite the slightly chaotic scene that emerged outdoors after it became clear that students and faculty would not immediately be returning inside, Academic Dean Aileen Goldstein was pleased with the quick and quiet manner in which the entire school left the building.

See what went on when the school was evacuated: