Groveton, NH – An elementary school in northern New Hampshire was shut down Tuesday when high levels of carbon monoxide were found.
Students had barely arrived at Groveton Elementary School when they were loaded onto buses again and evacuated. Carbon monoxide was detected in the school’s kitchen, and officials said they believe a faulty oven may be to blame.
A cafeteria worker became concerned that there was a problem late Monday. The fire department entered the building Tuesday morning and found unusually high levels of carbon monoxide in the cafeteria, located in the building’s basement.
“We were fortunate kids had not actually come into the building yet,” Principal Carl Ladd said. “We were able to get everyone on the playground into buses and get them up to the high school.”
Parents were called to pick up the 200 children. As a precaution, the cafeteria staff and a few students who had gone in for breakfast were all checked by emergency workers at the scene.
Parent Brian Kingsley said he knew as soon as he dropped his daughter off that something was wrong. He saw ambulances and quickly learned the school was closed.
“Safety of the kids is the main thing, so they did the right thing,” Kingsley said. “You always have to be concerned about the safety of children and people in the buildings.”
The building has been ventilated, and the fire department has cleared it to be back open for business Wednesday. The ovens in the kitchen will remain off until a technician comes to check them over.