Pumpkin Spice Air Freshner Caused a School Evacuation

Jane Werrell
By Jane Werrell
October 6, 2017US News
Pumpkin Spice Air Freshner Caused a School Evacuation
(Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Fire and hazmat crews were called to a school in Baltimore, Maryland after students smelled a “strange odor”.

“It was a smell that they certainly weren’t used to,” Bill Heiser, the school’s president, told The Baltimore Sun. “It appeared to be getting stronger.”

But the unusual scent that wafted around on the third floor of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School turned out to be something unexpected.

Heiser said several students and teachers had difficulty breathing.

Two students and three adults were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, after reporting an ailing stomach, per The Baltimore Sun.

The Hazmat team and the Baltimore City Fire Department arrived on scene soon after 2.30 p.m, on Thursday, Oct. 5, according to a statement posted on the school’s website.

Officials carried out safety checks and took primary and secondary readings in the school, Baltimore Fire Chief Roman Clark said to WBALTV 11. Both readings were negative.

Then, a firefighter identified a very seasonal cause for the evacuation–a pumpkin spice flavored air freshener.

“This plug-in air freshener that basically puts out the odor every so many seconds, and it’s a pumpkin spice, and that’s exactly what, if you go in there, you can smell, so it has been identified. It is not hazardous at all,” said Clark.

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School was evacuated early Thursday afternoon. (Screenshot via GoogleMaps)

While there was no danger, Clark said, “It was better safe than sorry,” The Baltimore Sun reports.

A statement on the school’s website noted that a counselor is available for the students to talk about Thursday’s events.

Classes resume on Friday.

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