Gas Odor Puts San Bruno Schools on Edge

Friday, Sep 17, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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Gas Odor Puts San Bruno Schools on Edge

AP

A massive fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. A massive fire burned homes as it roared through a mostly residential neighborhood in the hills south of San Francisco following a loud explosion Thursday evening that shot a fireball more than 1,000 feet into the air and sent frightened residents fleeing for safety, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

There is no indication of a gas leak at an elementary school in San Bruno that was evacuated Friday morning when teachers smelled gas in their classrooms, a PG&E spokesman said.

Students and staff at Crestmoor Elementary School, located at 2322 Crestmoor Drive, were evacuated this morning after two teachers reported smelling gas in their classrooms at about 8:10 a.m., said Cindy Emerson of the San Bruno Park School District.

School officials notified PG&E, which recommended students and staff evacuate the school. PG&E spokesman Jeff Smith said there is no indication of a gas leak. Instead, the smell was likely caused by a heater that was turned on this morning, Smith said.

PG&E crews stayed on the campus as of 10:15 a.m. to do further testing to ensure the safety of the school, Smith said.

There is also a power outage this morning that is affecting about 7,000 PG&E customers in the cities of San Bruno, Burlingame and Millbrae, according to Smith. He did not know when exactly the outage was reported, or if it was related to the incident at Crestmoor. Crews are working to restore power to the customers affected by the outage. The cause of the outage is under investigation, Smith said.

Classes were canceled for the day at Crestmoor and the students and staff were taken by bus to Parkside Intermediate School, according to Emerson, administrative assistant to the district  superintendent.

The school evacuation was the second in as many days in the area near the site of last week's deadly explosion and fire in San Bruno.

On Thursday morning, students were evacuated from Portola Elementary School in San Bruno because of the smell of gas. Investigators later determined the smell came from the school's furnaces, which had been  turned on for the first time this year.

Students from Portola were also taken to Parkside to be picked up on Thursday.

Both Crestmoor and Portola elementary schools are located less  than a mile from the site of the Sept. 9 pipeline explosion and fire that killed at least four people and injured more than 50 others. Thirty-seven homes were destroyed.

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