Smoke causes evacuation at Tulsa school
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Monday, October 01, 2012
10/01/12 at 2:56 PM
A Tulsa elementary school was evacuated Monday morning after what school officials initially thought was a small fire ignited in an air-conditioning unit, though no fire was found.
Students at Kendall-Whittier Elementary, 2601 E. Fifth Place, were evacuated around 11:30 a.m. after dust and debris began accumulating in the building, officials said.
Tulsa Public Schools spokesman Chris Payne said kids snuck onto the roof Sunday and turned off the air conditioning units manually. When the units were turned back on, “the blowers threw dust and debris and the belts began to slip, making a burning smell, but there was no fire,” Payne said.
Firefighters determined the source of the smoke was an external air-conditioning unit that was being repaired after thieves stole copper from inside the unit, said Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Stan May.
Crews cleared the building and admitted students back inside within about 30 minutes.
CHRISTOPHER SMITH/Tulsa World