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UPDATE: Broken exhaust belt led to St. Joe’s evacuation

UPDATE #2: St. Joe’s says a broken belt on an exhaust fan led to the build of of CO fumes. It has since been repaired.

UPDATE: Grande Prairie Fire Platoon Chief Steve Larsen says that staff noticed the alarm and triggered the fire alarm as a precaution to clear students from the school. Initially considered a highly hazardous response, regular resources like EMS and ATCO Gas also responded to the call, along with one chief unit and ten firefighters on an engine and a ladder truck. 

St Joe’s staff are continuing to monitor the alarm, but Larsen says they have not been called back and it does seem to have been a false alarm at this time. No CO was detected by crews at the scene and staff and students were allowed to return a short time later. Larsen commends the staff and students for their speedy evacuation. 

According to the school’s official Twitter account students at St Joe’s were evacuated just before lunch hour Wednesday. The school was cleared out after a carbon monoxide detector went off around 11:40 a.m.

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ATCO and fire crews responded to the scene and have taken care of the situation. All the staff and students have been allowed back in to the building for the afternoon.

We’ll update the situation as we learn more.

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