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Students, staff evacuated from Lois Hornsby Middle School after ‘smoke smell’ detected

(WYDaily/Courtesy James City County)
Students and staff were evacuated from Lois Hornsby Middle School on Tuesday after the smell of smoke was detected. (WYDaily/Courtesy James City County)

WILLIAMSBURG — Students and staff were evacuated from Lois Hornsby Middle School in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 9 after a “smoke smell” was detected in the heating and cooling area of the school, said James City County (JCC) Fire Department Chief Ryan Ashe.

The JCC fire department received a call around 12:30 p.m. shortly before the school was scheduled to dismiss. Fire units responded to the building at 12:43 p.m., Ashe said.

Ashe added that the smell was not from a fire, but from a broken belt in the school’s HVAC system.

Eileen Cox, spokesperson for Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, said that the students were evacuated and then dismissed directly to their buses or parents’ cars to be taken home.

She added that the school principal is “corresponding with parents” through email about students being able to pick up any materials they may have left behind as a result of the quick evacuation.

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