Atlanta, GA – Finch Elementary School was evacuated when at least 49 students and staff were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes. Police and fire rescue crews rushed to the Atlanta elementary school after a 911 call came in shortly after classes began.
When fire crews reached the Oakland City area school, at least six people had been overcome by carbon monoxide fumes, according to USA Today. Initial reports indicated that most of the students and staff overcome by the fumes were inside a single classroom at Finch Elementary School.
Four students and two staff members reportedly passed out after inhaling the carbon monoxide fumes, but all regained consciousness by the time emergency responders arrived on the scene.
Six adults were taken to the Atlanta Medical Center and 43 students were transported to the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. The students were reportedly in good condition after being treated for carbon monoxide exposure.
School officials evacuated the entire Finch Elementary School building as a precaution. When fire crews entered the facility, the carbon monoxide levels were at 1,700 PPM. Atlanta Fire Department Batallion Chief Todd Edwards stated that the levels were the highest the crew had ever recorded inside a building.
During an interview with 11Alive News, Lieutenant Marian McDaniel noted that Finch Elementary School is a relatively new building. Atlanta Public Schools officials report that all 515 staff and students who were not sick as a result on inhaling carbon monoxide fumes were transported to nearby Brown Middle School by bus. Investigators believe that the carbon monoxide leak began in the main furnace at Finch Elementart School.