I was 5 minutes away from dismissing my Concert Band to lunch when the 'wooo wooo wooo' of the alarm goes off. Great, I think, getting everyone lined up, grabbing my roster and heading upstairs. Usually we have notice of firedrills and so I was annoyed at myself for not checking my email carefully enough. Except, as we walked up the stairs, there was the smell of smoke! And as we left the building we could see the smoke coming out of the vents on the roof. We went to our assigned locations outside of the school (If you are in the back tower, you wait at the TaiPower building, of you are in the front tower you wait in the lane down the block by Circle K) And we waited. And waited. And it was raining and cold. And the grade 1s were crying. And we waited. Until finally we had word that we could come back to the playground for an announcement.
Yes, there was a real fire! An electrical panel in a supply closet had caught fire. The smoke set off the alarm, and a teacher, seeing the smoke from the closet, extinguished the fire with an extinguisher very quickly. It was out before the fire department got there. Once the fire department had checked everything we could come back but because the building was very smoky still the principal decided to cancel school for the rest of the day. Parents were emailed right away, and it is AMAZING how many parents are online because they were arriving at school within 10 minutes to get their kids. The rest we called until all were gone, and I was home at 2:30.
Do you have an extinguisher? Do you know what to do if there is a fire? I was glad then that we had practiced so often (4 times a year), because I had two student aides in another classroom who were in the right spot, and the orchestra kids were able to tell their teacher what to do, to. Good work, everyone!