Sadie Saulter Educational Center evacuated due to gas leak

Sadie Saulter Educational Center evacuated due to gas leak
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:24 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - About 250 staff and students at Sadie Saulter Preschool evacuated from their building Thursday morning due to a gas leak, along with people living nearby.

Parents of the school kids say getting a call about what was happening was concerning.

Angela Whitfield, a Sadie Saulter parent said, “I immediately rushed over here and to ride up and see firefighters and rescue everywhere was just extremely, extremely scary.”

Greenville fire/rescue battalion chief Jeremy Anderson says the leak on West 4th Street and Tyson Street came after construction crews hit a major gas line.

He says the school responded quickly. Chief Anderson told WITN, “Once we arrived the staff did an outstanding job getting the students out to a safe location because with natural gas, outside actually the best place to be because it is actually lighter than air so it dissipates very freely in the environment.”

While emergency drills are practiced regularly, the teachers had to set a good example to not overwhelm the kids in a real emergency.

Lateshia Barnes, a Sadie Saulter teacher shared, “Just to remain calm, make sure I have all the numbers of the parents that need, that I need to call if I need to call them, and being able to have the kids at a safe place. If I’m calm, they’re calm.”

Greenville utilities contained the gas leak and cleared the schools to proceed as a normal day.