“Everybody was calm. They did what they were supposed to do and the evacuation process went completely smoothly,” said Wegner.
She thanked the students after they returned to the middle school. “Thank you for exiting quickly and behaving appropriately at the high school. I’ve already heard from high school staff about how well behaved you were while in their building,” she told students. “I’m proud of you for that.”
Students were evacuated to the high school gymnasium as outlined in the school emergency plans. High school administrators and office staff were notified and ready to assist getting all the students inside safely.
Middle school teachers supervised their students and took attendance to ensure everyone was accounted for after the evacuation. While in the high school, Wegner said the students were respectful and well-behaved.
Wegner said today’s incident at the middle school is an excellent reminder of why the schools do regular safety drills including fire drills. “We hope we never have to use these procedures in emergency situations, but I can tell you that today our students acted appropriately and it went very well. Everyone was out of the building in about a minute and half or less,” said Wegner.
She thanked Thornapple Township Emergency Services for arriving at the scene quickly. She also praised the middle school daytime custodial staff, the district maintenance supervisor, and the school resource officers for their quick actions. Thanks were also given to the high school administrators and office staff for their assistance.
School resource officers and the middle school administration are working with the fire chief to determine the causes of the fire and find those responsible for the incident.