DeKalb elementary school explosion caused by boiler malfunction

DeKalb County firefighters responded to a small explosion inside Hawthorne Elementary school on Sunday morning.
No one was inside of the building at the time of the incident at 2535 Caladium Dr. NE, DeKalb fire spokesman Capt. Dion Bentley said. A crew that responded to the scene found some damage inside of the building.
DeKalb County firefighters responded to a small explosion inside Hawthorne Elementary school on Sunday morning. No one was inside of the building at the time of the incident at 2535 Caladium Dr. NE, DeKalb fire spokesman Capt. Dion Bentley said. A crew that responded to the scene found some damage inside of the building.

DeKalb County firefighters responded to a small explosion inside Hawthorne Elementary school on Sunday morning.

No one was inside of the building at the time of the incident at 2535 Caladium Dr. NE, DeKalb fire spokesman Capt. Dion Bentley said. A crew that responded to the scene found some damage inside of the building.

A spokesperson with Atlanta Gas Light told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it coordinated with first responders to address reports of a natural gas smell near Hawthorne Elementary. A joint investigation into the issue determined there were no leaks on the natural gas service lines that Atlanta Gas Light maintains, she said.

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However, the spokesperson said a boiler on the school’s property was functioning improperly. She said Atlanta Gas Light will return to complete safety inspections once the school makes repairs.

DeKalb schools have been all-virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the DeKalb County School District is planning to resume in-person learning beginning Jan. 19. Buildings were opened to teachers and staff last week for the first time since March.

A spokesperson for the DeKalb County School District told the AJC that the district is currently working to assess the damage caused in order to make the necessary repairs to bring staff and students back to the building safely. She said the district does not have a completion timeline at this time.

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