NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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February 10, 2010

Firefighters investigate smell at Newbury Elementary

NEWBURY -- Newbury Firefighters were called out to Newbury Elementary School at approximately 10:30 a.m. this morning after the building's fire alarm system automatically tripped due to causes officials are still trying to determine. Students spent close to 30 minutes waiting outside while firefighters swept the building's roof, gymnasium and kindergarten wing for fire, but were allowed back in at 10:55 a.m. when the building was deemed safe. "There's no fire here," said Triton Regional School Superintendent Sandra Halloran of the situation. "This has happened before over there. There's a unit that's up on the roof - it will give off some kind of odor that sets off the alarm." Though Halloran couldn't confirm the alarm was tripped for that purpose, she said kids were being allowed back into the building after spending about 20-30 minutes outside. "The kids are going back into the building now and the Fire Chief and our Facilities Manager is still over at the building making sure it is fine," said Halloran. "I don't know what the odor was. They're still looking into it." At 11:10 a.m. firefighters reported they were focused in on room #184 of the school, bringing in gas monitors to test for levels. Newbury's electrical inspector has been called to the scene. Students have since gone home for an early release day due to the weather.

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