Gasoline spill causes evacuation of Bret Harte School

Students from Bret Harte Elementary School head toward buses that took them to Hyde Park High School, after the elementary school was evacuated following a gasoline spill. (Photo by Owen M Lawson III)

Contributing writer

Students at Bret Harte Elementary School, 1556 E. 56th St, were evacuated Wednesday after a gasoline spill. They were temporarily relocated to Hyde Park High School, 6220 S. Stony Island Ave.

Larry Langford, Chicago Fire Department spokesperson, said the department responded to a report there was a smell of gas in the building.

“The area where they keep oil and gas, there was a small handheld gas can that tipped over,” he said. One gallon of gasoline spilled and was cleaned up.

“It is better to err on the side of caution,” Langford said. “The kids were never at risk.”

A letter was sent out to parents from the school to inform them of what happened.

“No students were harmed and the school day will continue as normal. Students will return to Bret Harte for dismissal,” the letter said. “Again, all the students are safe and their learning will not be interrupted as we proceed with fixing this issue.”

Students will return to Bret Harte for a normal day of school on Thursday.