Gas Leak at East Forest School Causes Temporary Evacuation of School Wednesday, Aug. 30

August 30, 2023

MARIENVILLE, Pa. – A small gas leak was discovered at East Forest School Wednesday, Aug. 30, forcing a temporary evacuation of the school in the afternoon.

According to the Pulse Point app, a 911 call reporting a potential gas leak was received at 1:51 p.m. and three area fire departments responded – Marienville, Farmington, and Sigel.

National Fuel Gas also responded, according to Forest Area Superintendent Amanda Hetrick.

“National Fuel did find a small slow leak and shut off all gas to the building,” Hetrick said.

The school was evacuated with students being taken to an undisclosed community building.

“The East Forest staff took quick action to evacuate the building according to our established procedures,” Hetrick said. “We have been advised by safety experts not to disclose our evacuation locations specifically, but we have partnerships with several community organizations to provide safe locations when there is a need for an evacuation of the building. Our staff did exceptional work in making sure students were safe and calm. We have a great team, and they demonstrated that today by thinking on their feet and being flexible in responding to an unexpected situation.”

Students and staff were able to return to the building in time for afternoon dismissal, which is just after 3 p.m.

Pulse Point indicated the scene was cleared by 2:42 p.m.

According to Hetrick, a contractor was coming to “cap the line where the leak was occurring.”

“(The contractor) will have National Fuel inspect once the permanent repair is complete,” Hetrick said. “We anticipate that it will be completed prior to the start of school tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 31).”


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