August 24, 2007 at 5:04 PM CDT - Updated July 26 at 12:15 PM
Grease Fire Causes School to Evacuate By: Heartland News
MCCLURE, Ill. - It's the end of the first full week of school and you would think there'd be a sigh of relief, but just before the bell rings the fire alarm rings out.
"Scary, because you could start smelling a little smoke and first concerns are these kids and I just wanted to make sure we got all of them out," said Principal Amy Reynolds at Shawnee Elementary South in McClure.
Reynolds reacted just as planned and hoped teachers and kids remember all those fire drills.
A grease fire broke out in the kitchen.
It ended up being the quick thinking of the school janitor. He didn't need a fire extinguisher. He just came in and grabbed the lid right next to the fryer and put out the flame.
The danger was gone, but no one else realized that.
Kids continue to file out. Every classroom has an emergency kit which include radios and class lists.
"Red and green cards...green card so the teachers can hold up. They know all children are present. They've got all their children. Red card we're missing somebody. We've got to find them," said Reynolds.
The local fire chief was impressed.
"I just think everything went perfect," said Fire Chief Stanley Mouser with the McClure/East Cape Fire Protection District.
The fire turns out to be nothing, but, Mouser quickly notes how things could have been much worse.
"It was the training and the ability to work together, and that's what we've got here, McClure, East Cape, the teachers have got to be commended," Mouser said.
"It was a blessing everyone got out okay," Reynolds said.
It's a real-life lesson teachers and students at McClure won't soon forget.