Kitchen fire necessitates full evacuation
May 23, 2012
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In the midst of the first Advanced Placement testing week, the fire alarms went off because of an incident in the kitchen. On May 10, students, staff, and faculty inside had to leave the school building during the second half of 4-1.
Excessive smoke from cooking marinated chicken in the kitchen set off the fire alarms. Everyone, including students sitting for AP tests, had to follow fire drill procedures and evacuate the building.
“I knew this wasn’t a fire drill because APs were going on,” said junior Emily Hack. “I was worried that there was a real fire.”
Morning tests had finished shortly before, and students were sitting for the AP Japanese and AP Latin exams. The students sitting for the Japanese exam already started testing while those taking the Latin exam had not received the test booklet when the alarms rang. Although testing had not started yet for everyone, all the students were required to remain silent, in accordance with College Board procedures.
“It was taken kind of seriously, but because we hadn’t started yet it wasn’t that bad,” said senior Ali McCann, who took the AP Latin exam.
The fire also interrupted other students who were taking their finals in class, such as AP United States History.
“It was inconvenient because we missed almost half the class during our final. I did have as much time as I would have liked to take the test,” said junior Dana Mirro.
Students and staff were able to enter the building after police and firefighters investigated the situation. Students had been waiting outside for about twenty minutes before they returned inside.
This was similar to an incident several years ago when the fire alarm rang during AP testing. Because the students remained silent while outside and did not compromise testing conditions, they continued taking their tests when they returned to the building.