Beaverton, OR – Eleven children between ages 2 and 5 were evacuated from a Cedar Hills preschool this morning due to reports of explosions and a natural gas leak, fire officials said.
The evacuations turned out to be precautionary. No one was hurt in the 9:05 a.m. incident, officials said.
The children were removed from Angels Montessori School at Westside Church of Christ, 17415 N.W. Walker Road, following reports of several explosions in the building and the distinctive odor of natural gas, said Karen Eubanks, spokeswoman for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
Eubanks said firefighters could smell gas and heard “popping” sounds from the building. They eventually found that the problem was a malfunctioning heating and air conditioning system on the two-story building’s roof.
Crews from Northwest Natural and PGE also responded and shut off utilities.
There were no signs of smoke or fire in the building, she added.
Eubanks said the staff of the school did an excellent job keeping the children calm and safe throughout the incident.
The preschoolers were taken to a “safe house” that had been selected in advance as part of the school’s emergency plan. Children were later released to their parents, Eubanks said.