Lab Mishap Causes SHS Evacuation


Maroon Staff

As a precaution, classes located in or around the science wing of the building were blocked off and relocated to the gyms.

Ariel Weinsaft

An alarm sounds. Students and faculty stop what they are doing. Scarsdale High School is evacuated. 

While this may have seemed like any ordinary fire drill, with students rolling their eyes once they heard the alarm which they believed was sounding due to a juuling incidentas it most often isthis time, the cause was different. 

“We believe that the smoke alarm was initiated by a laboratory chemical that was overheated in that classroom,” said Principal Kenneth Bonamo in an email sent to the Scarsdale community.  

For approximately 25 minutes, SHS students and faculty shivered, waiting for the fire department to search and clear the building of all harm. Once they returned inside nearly half an hour later, the building, specifically the science wing, reeked of burning chemicals. “The HVAC ventilation system automatically shut off during the evacuation but came back on for a brief time during re-entry before we could manually shut it again,” explained Bonamo. 

Throughout the rest of the day, some students and faculty reported feeling symptoms of illness, ranging from headaches to nausea. 

As a precaution, classes located in or around the science wing of the building were relocated to the gyms. The Yonkers and Scarsdale Fire Departments further evaluated the condition of the high school. According to Bonamo, “Their tests did not reveal anything out of the ordinary, and they cleared the science wing for occupancy.” 

As the day progressed, the commotion caused by the alarm calmed. Students and faculty continued with their days normally. 

Note: This article will be updated shortly with additional interviews.