Hope-Hill Elementary in Atlanta evacuated for smoke

John Hope-Charles Walter Hill Elementary was evacuated without incident Tuesday morning after reports of smoke within the building.

Firefighters and public safety officials were on hand at the elementary school, at 112 Boulevard in Atlanta, for a few hours Tuesday. All students and school staff were evacuated safely, and no one was injured, authorities said.

Atlanta Fire Rescue was called to respond around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

“Upon arrival, (we) had light smoke in one of the stairwells and it looks like we’re narrowing it down to one of the blower units up in the ceiling,” David Rhodes, Battalion Chief of Atlanta Fire Rescue, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “(It’s) possible (the unit) had some work done on it yesterday.”

The children and school staff were allowed to re-enter the building when authorities gave the all-clear.

The smoke was likely caused by an electrical short or a belt problem, Rhodes said. “It was just a real light haze and it dissipated pretty quick once they got out of the building,” he said. “Whatever happened was short lived and it appears to be over now.”

Students and school officials followed their emergency plans to evacuate the building successfully. “They can count it as a quarterly drill,” Rhodes said.