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Northwest Tech Center evacuates after a “strong odor” filled the school

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The St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services Northwest Technical Center on Park Street was evacuated at roughly 10:30 a.m. Thursday after a “strong gas odor” was noticed by students and faculty.

“It was reported to me at about 10:20 that there was a strong gas odor at the welding shops,” said Principal Jane S. Akins. “We evacuated right away.”

The Ogdensburg Fire Department ventilated the building in an attempt to flush out the odor.

Assistant Chief Michael J. Farrell said they are still not sure what caused the odor. He described it as a strong “acetone” smell.

Students were evacuated to the criminal justice and primary education facility behind the main building before being bussed home between 11 and 11:15 a.m. All afternoon classes were canceled.

Ms. Akins said the origin of the smell will be investigated.

“Hopefully everything is clear today so we can resume classes tomorrow,” she added.

Firefighter Jason K. Smith said students will be able to return to class tomorrow.

Ms. Akins said the timing of today’s evacuation is ironic because they had just rehearsed an evacuation last Friday.

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