AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Students and teachers at Paris Elementary School in Aurora were evacuated at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday because of a refrigerant leak.
The school is located at 1635 Paris Street. About 435 children were evacuated.
“We were about to do a science experiment and the bell rang and we thought it was just a fire drill,” student Jennifer Aguilar said. “I do have a sore throat that was bad when I was in the cafeteria.”
One kitchen worker was rushed to the hospital. No children were taken to the hospital and no students were exposed to the leak.
Firefighters say the strong odor was traced to the kitchen. They said it was a refrigerant leak but did not confirm what the substance was.
“There was an irritating odor in the air. They did evacuate the school immediately,” a rescue official said. “No students were in contact with the irritant.”
Parents living within sight of the school hurried over to see why students were being evacuated.
“I thought the worst. I was all scared because my daughter and my niece were there,” parent Monica Lozano said.
All students were bused to North Middle School a couple of blocks away until the building was considered safe. The Aurora Fire Department declared the building safe for students at noon.
Students returned to class at about 1 p.m.