GW Middle School Evacuated Following Report of Strange Odor

Smell linked to smoking power line across from the school on Mount Vernon Avenue.

4:30 p.m. update — George Washington Middle School students did not re-enter the school following its evacuation, according to several students' parents. 

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Fire crews from Alexandria and Arlington County responded to a report of an odor at George Washington Middle School around 2 p.m. Thursday that was later found to be related to a snapped power line in the 1000 block of Mount Vernon Avenue.

The odor prompted someone in the school to pull the fire alarm and the children were evacuated from the building, according to ACPS spokesperson Kelly Alexander.

Fire officials quickly cleared the building and allowed the children to re-enter.

Maintenance crews were working on power lines across the street from the school throughout much of the day.

Roughly 20 Domion Virginia Power customers in the immediate area of the incident are without power. Service is expected to be restored between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday. 

Mount Vernon Avenue remained closed between E. Braddock Road and E. Glendale Avenue when school was dismissed at 3:15 p.m. Alexander said school officials followed contingency plans to get children on their respective buses. 

For the quickest updates, "like" Del Ray Patch on Facebook and follow @delraypatch on Twitter.

Tommy McGuire February 14, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Wrong, Patch. The kids were not allowed back in and retrieve their belongings.
Drew Hansen February 14, 2013 at 09:27 PM
ACPS told me they were allowed to re-enter. I'll make an update.
Resident 22301 February 14, 2013 at 11:04 PM
As of 6:00 p.m. there is nothing about this incident on the ACPS website. The alexandrianews.org story has a statement from the Alexandria Fire Marshall that includes "the school's fire alarm was malfunctioning as a result of the power issue." So pulling a malfunctioning alarm leads to an evacuation? Taken together with the previous comments, I'm skeptical of the ACPS account as to what took place and much more inclined to believe the fire marshall's account.
McBrinn February 15, 2013 at 01:49 PM
A strange smell coming from a middle school? Ya don't say?
Sherry Henderson February 15, 2013 at 02:56 PM
The smell and stench is probably coming from the Alexandria City Public Schools leadership, of Mort Sherman, et al.


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