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50 students checked after Farmington school electrical odor


FARMINGTON – Firefighters from three towns checked about 50 elementary students as a precaution after an electrical issue with the sprinkler system caused a rise in carbon monoxide levels Monday morning.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded around 10:15 a.m. after a fire alarm went off at Valley View Community School – which educates Farmington and Middleton students in pre-kindergarten through grade 3.

Fire chief Richard Fowler said the box alarm sounded due to an “electrical odor” in the sprinkler room. He said firefighters determined the issue occurred within the jockey pump, which supports the school’s sprinkler system.

As a result of the incident, Fowler said firefighters detected elevated carbon monoxide levels — about 6 to 7 parts per million (ppm). He said 10 ppm is the usual threshhold for concern.

Fowler said the system was shut off, and firefighters from Farmington, Milton and New Durham checked out about 40 to 50 students and staff who were in affected classrooms and hallways.

"There should be no issues," Fowler said, adding no one was transported as a result.

Superintendent Steve Welford, who responded to the school, said everyone followed the existing evacuation plan and there were no issues.

The school was celebrating fire prevention day today. Welford said officials decided to postpone the festivities to allow students to get back to their studies.

“I think they had enough excitement seeing the (fire) trucks pull up,” Welford said.

Welford said the district used an automated phone system to notify Farmington and Middleton parents with the facts and reassure everyone that normal activities resumed at the school.

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