Small fire forces Leon High evacuation

Courtesy of Stephen Gude

Leon High School had early dismissal earlier today due to a small fire that started from a third floor storage unit. Fire fighters found out through smoke detectors and were on scene in a matter of minutes.

All students were sent to the school's track and were not able to collect items left behind in classrooms. Teachers then formed groups of students to prepare them for early dismissal. Students who drove were allowed to leave at 11:30 a.m., others were dismissed at noon.

Leon County officials are currently investigating to see if there's any relation with last week's threats and today's incident.

Chris Petly, public informations officer for Leon schools, tweeted about the incident and later stated that there are no injuries.

Superintendent Jackie Pons stated safety is the number one priority and shared his thoughts on the successful joint effort today.

"The Principal did a great job of evacuating the building, putting his sight safety plan into place" Pons said. "Also an outstanding job to the fire department for the way they responded to this quickly."

Mike Bellamy, public information officer for the Tallahassee Fire Department, said that they received a call by 10:15 a.m.

"Crews got up to the third floor and found fire in one room and we were able to knock that fire down," Bellamy said.  “We had multiple crews assigned just for search and rescue. We cleared all three floors pretty quick."

Billy Epting, the school principal, said that the evacuation was successful because of teamwork.

"The key to the success today was the kids knowing the plan and the faculty and staff going to their spots and being where they wanted to be," Epting stated. "Our evacuation plan on double checking, triple checking bathrooms, locker rooms, classrooms to make sure everybody was out worked very well."

The school will make a decision today by 5 p.m., on if classes will be continued tomorrow or not.