LEWISPORTE, NL — Students and staff at Lewisporte Academy put their fire drill training to use in a real life situation Thursday afternoon.
Lewisporte RCMP Sgt. Raymond Jullien confirmed for the Pilot that police and Lewisporte Fire Rescue responded to an incident at the school yesterday of smoke in the building.
When they arrived on scene within minutes of receiving the call, Jullien noted that the students had already been evacuated from the building and were safe inside the Salvation Army Church located behind the school. The process of vacating the building took about two minutes.
“They did a really good job. Everyone was out and accounted for by the time we got there,” he said.
“The kids were out as soon as the smoke started. All those dry runs (of fire drills) proved yesterday that it works.”
There were no issues of smoke inhalation or injuries to students or staff.
Jullien said it was determined there was no fire and that the source of the smoke originated in the electrical room.
Due to the fact they couldn’t re-enter the building, the students stayed at the church until the buses or parents arrived to take them home.
Jullien noted some parents were concerned they were not contacted and that the students didn’t have their jackets with them. The smoke in the building meant that staff could not re-enter to call parents or to retrieve personal items, however. Jullien understands the concerns of parents but said the safety of the children came first and he was impressed with how the school handled the situation.
There were no classes at Lewisporte Academy on Friday due to a scheduled holiday.
Jullien noted that the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District will be looking into the incident. The school board was contacted for an update and the Pilot will provide details as they become available.
Lewisporte Academy includes students from kindergarten to Grade 6.