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School evacuated after smoke reported

POSTED: December 10, 2013 10:10 a.m.

Reports of smoke prompted the evacuation of students Monday afternoon at Sawnee Elementary School.

To ensure safety to the students, the building was cleared and Forsyth County fire and emergency personnel were summoned, according to the school system. Students were moved to a second building, from which they were then dismissed.

The school is on Canton Highway, west of Cumming. Its website directed parents to a letter explaining that the quick dismissal meant many students were unable to retrieve personal belongings.

“We understand that backpacks and devices will be left at school, but access to the building will not be permitted,” the letter said.

No one was injured in the incident. According to the school’s website, the smoke was reported about 2:15 p.m. in an isolated area of the Building 1 front office.

Fire and maintenance personnel eventually traced the source of the smoke to a motor in one of the school’s heating/ventilation and air-conditioning units.

“The source was determined and repaired Monday evening,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, a spokeswoman for the school system.

“School staff are thankful that the situation was minor and that the motor has been replaced. School proceeded as normal today.”


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