|Craneville Elementary Evacuated After Smoke Fills Building|
|By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff|
01:04PM / Monday, May 08, 2023
|Area firefighters respond to the report of a structure fire at Craneville Elementary School in Dalton. The Dalton Fire Department has been using a loaned Boston truck. |
Parents line up to be reunited with their children at the Stationery Factory, the school's emergency location.
DALTON, Mass. — Pupils at Craneville Elementary School were evacuated from the school on Monday after two motors in the heating and ventilation system burnt out and sent smoke through the building.
According to a message to parents from Superintendent of Schools Leslie Blake-Davis, staff noticed an odor at about 10:45 a.m. that "warranted a fire drill."
"It has been recommended by emergency personnel that students and staff relocate to the Stationary Factory (this is our emergency relocation site) to allow emergency personnel to ensure the issue is fully resolved before students re-enter the building," she wrote.
Two children were reportedly taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield by Lanesborough Ambulance for headaches.
"We didn't actually have a fire here today, they had a power outage and they lost a phase on the electrical system and two HVAC motors burned out and sent an odor and smoke haze through the whole building," said Dalton Fire Lt. Zackery Morrissey on Monday afternoon.
The smoke set off the box alarm, alerting the Fire Department.
He said school officials were advised to release the students because of the severity of the problem wasn't known.
"We had smoke in the furthest wing to through the whole school," Morrissey said. "So it was kind of hard to figure out which wing, what was going on, and we had to search every classroom and we're still not even done with this."
The lieutenant said the first firefighters were on the scene at 10:46 a.m. and he immediately hit a first alarm assignment calling for mutual aid. Other units arrived only minutes later.
"We did an emergency evacuation of the whole school and everybody's being sent home or bussed home, per the school's procedure," Morrissey said.
Parents were lined up at the Stationery Factory after noon to pick up their children.
In addition to Dalton Fire, Dalton Police and Dalton, Hinsdale and Lanesborough ambulances responded.