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Smoke forces evacuation of Orrick, MO school

Orick Fire Conner Greer 3.jpg
Posted at 11:41 AM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 23:45:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students attending class Wednesday at the Orrick, Missouri, school complex were evacuated after portions of the roof went up in smoke.

Orrick Fire Protection District Chief Kelly Bilton said the fire started in the attic of the school around 10 a.m. as construction workers were replacing a section of the roof.

The district said all students were accounted for after the evacuation to the football stadium. From there, students were moved to the nearby Orrick Christian Church, where parents picked up their children.

The fire mostly affected the grade school portion of the building, but there was some smoke damage in the superintendent’s office and parts of the junior high.

For students at the school, it was a terrifying experience.

“I scrambled out and I turn around to see a giant plume of smoke on top of the school building,” student Anastasia Quillen said.

Her heart was racing because she was worried about her three younger siblings on the elementary school side of the school.

“I was like, 'Oh no, I need to get to my sister. I need to get her out of there. I need to get my family out of here,'" Quillen said.

Luckily, there were no injuries to students, faculty or staff.

“We actually saw it wasn’t a drill and the teachers were freaking out, which made the students freak out,” student Seth Mcafee said.

Orrick schools superintendent Scott Archibald was happy with the response.

“They took it serious and they got out the doors, and I didn’t put a time on it because no one expected it," he said.

Orrick is a tight-knit community that's experienced adversity, so its people know how to come together in a time like this.

“It was nerve-racking ,because we’ve had problems in the past with tornadoes and had to go pack for the recently and this happens,” Mcafee said.

Archibald added, “Everybody here, they just roll with it. Our kids are good, our teachers are good and our community is really supportive."

The school will be closed for the rest of the week. Archibald doesn’t know when it will reopen, but he said he’ll update parents at a later time.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.