Lowell High School in San Francisco evacuated for two hours after reports of gas odor 

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Lowell High School was evacuated for nearly two hours Monday morning after staff reported a strong smell of natural gas.

The smell was first reported at 10:15 a.m., San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Heidi Anderson said. At 10:30 a.m., school officials called the fire department and began evacuating the school’s 2,600 students.

Another person reported smelling gas in another part of the building at 10:35 a.m., Anderson said.

The fire department contacted PG&E at 11:15 a.m., company spokesman Joe Molica said. PG&E inspectors were on the scene by 11:25 a.m., he said, but they did not find a gas leak.

“We did not find anything after a thorough check,” Molica said.

Molica said that other odors, such as the sewer, can sometimes mimic natural gas.

“They did the right thing in calling us and calling the fire department,” he said. “Safety is always first.”

Anderson said that the students followed the building’s fire drill procedure and were evacuated to outdoor areas on campus. At 12:12 p.m., after PG&E finished a walk-through, the fire department gave school officials the all-clear and students were allowed to return to class.


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