Alexandria Fire Department Responds to Gas Odor at Cora Kelly School
Students evacuated down to Mount Vernon Community School on foot.
1 p.m. update — The Alexandria Fire Department traced the gas odor at Cora Kelly School to a long-dormant heating unit that was automatically activated by Tuesday morning's cool temperatures, according to a press release from Alexandria City Public Schools.
After finding no evidence of a gas leak, the fire department deemed the building safe to reopen at 9:48 a.m.
Traveling with a police escort, ACPS school buses quickly picked up and returned students to Cora Kelly.
"The rapid action of Cora Kelly administrators, swift assistance from the Alexandria Fire and Police departments and welcoming response from Mount Vernon ensured our students' safety and limited disruption to their school day," said ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman in the statement. "I commend all of those involved for working together so smoothly and for constantly thinking about the children's well-being."
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The Alexandria Fire Department responded to a gas odor at Cora Kelly School around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The school was evacuated and students were escorted on foot about a half-mile south on Commonwealth Avenue to Mount Vernon Community School.
Cora Kelly Principal Brandon Davis said a couple of students smelled gas in the rear exterior of the building, but he was not sure of the origin of the smell.
“Some students said they smelled it upstairs, but the windows were open,” Davis said.
Davis then called the Alexandria Fire Department and the gas company, he said.
At 9:37 p.m., Alexandria Chief Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez said the situation “had been cleared” and that the building was safe to be reoccupied.