Squid experiment smokes up Epping classrooms, forces evacuationBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
January 30. 2018 1:59PM
EPPING — An oil fire during a squid-cooking experiment at Epping Middle School Tuesday morning forced students to leave the building while firefighters cleared smoke-filled rooms, fire officials said.
Police Capt. Jason Newman said he was informed by School Resource Officer Russ Hero that students were dissecting squid in a science class and it was being cooked up as calamari when the fire started.
"They put the lid on and moved it outside, but it smoked up the classroom and adjacent classroom and hallway," fire Lt. Mike Floyd said.
Fire crews from Brentwood and Epping responded just before 9 a.m. after fire broke out in the pot of squid and the fire alarms activated, fire Lt. Paul St. Cyr said.
"It sent a lot of smoke in the first and second floors of the middle school," he said. Because the middle and high schools are connected, students from both schools had to be moved to the elementary school gymnasium next door.
St. Cyr said the evacuation lasted about an hour as firefighters ventilated the rooms using portable fans.
No injuries were reported.
"School officials and the Epping Fire Department responded appropriately and school is now back in session," School Superintendent Valerie McKenney said shortly after students returned to class.
St. Cyr said the last time the fire department responded to a fire at the school was several months ago when an ice cream machine caught fire in the cafeteria shared by the middle and high schools.