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Pumpkin spice air freshener prompts Baltimore high school evacuation

October 06, 2017

The pumpkin spice craze may have gone a little too far this time.

A high school in Baltimore was evacuated Thursday afternoon over an odd smell that prompted fire and hazmat officials to arrive on campus.

The source? A pumpkin spice air freshener, fire officials told local media.

At around 2:30 p.m., students noticed a “strange odor” on the third floor, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School said in a statement on its website.

“It was a smell that they certainly weren’t used to,” School president Bill Heiser, who was not on campus during the incident, told The Baltimore Sun. “It appeared to be getting stronger.”

Students were evacuated shortly after and the Baltimore fire department’s hazmat team entered the building.

Several students and staff were evaluated by EMTs, and five were taken to the hospital as a precaution, the school said.

“It’s always best to take precaution, call 911, let us — we are the experts — come in and make sure that everything is safe, so we have no problem with them making this call,” fire chief Roman Clark said, according to WBAL. “I know it’s a lot of equipment that you see around here, a lot of firefighters that are working on this incident; however, we want to make sure that these students and teachers are all safe.”

More than 350 students are enrolled at the school, according to its website. Classes are expected to resume Friday.

Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller


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