It was more than a drill Wednesday morning as Monroe Middle School students in Omaha were evacuated due to a fire in the ceiling.
Firefighters received two calls to the school at North 51st Street and Bedford Avenue. One was an unrelated medical emergency for one of the students, the other was the fire call. A crew was working on the roof of the school and alerted officials and the fire department around 10 a.m.
Flames in a crawl space ceiling were quickly put out. “We’re turning on the air handling units, but they won’t turn on because there is still smoke in there so we have to bypass those detection systems to exhaust all of the smoke from the building," said OFD Assistant Fire Chief Dan Stolinski.
Students were evacuated to the gym at nearby Benson High School.
Due to smoke lingering in the building, Monroe dismissed students at 1:10 p.m. None of the windows at the school open, only the doors. All after-school activities at Monroe were canceled for Wednesday.
School officials later said the building had been ventilated and deemed safe for occupancy, so classes will resume on Thursday.