Students evacuated after smoke in Butternut Creek gymnasium
Students and staff were evacuated from Butternut Creek Elementary School in Aloha on Thursday morning amid reports of smoke in the school's gymnasium, according to Hillsboro School District spokeswoman Beth Graser.
According to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, the smoke was caused by a faulty air conditioning unit.
The students have now safely returned to their classrooms, but will avoid the gym area for the remainder of the day, Graser said.
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews responded to the school — located at 20395 S.W. Florence St., near Hillsboro — and searched both inside and outside for the source of the smoke, according to TVF&R spokesman Stefan Myers.
"We did eventually track down that one of the HVAC systems was malfunctioning and putting out a haze," he said. "We are now ventilating out the gym to get it all cleared up."
A message from the district was sent out to parents following the evacuation.
"Upon receiving reports of white smoke coming out of the vents in the gymnasium, the fire alarm was activated and building was evacuated," the statement read. "All students and staff exited the building quickly and safely. Fire crews are currently on the scene assessing and managing the situation."
The district said no one was injured and parents are asked to not come to the school at this time.
This story may be updated with more information as it becomes available.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with information on the students returning to classrooms.
By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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