Fire and hazmat crews were called to a school in Baltimore, Maryland after students smelled a “strange odor”.
“It was a smell that they certainly weren’t used to,” Bill Heiser, the school’s president, told The Baltimore Sun. “It appeared to be getting stronger.”
But the unusual scent that wafted around on the third floor of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School turned out to be something unexpected.
A suspicious odor prompted the evacuation of 200+ students at a HS school in Baltimore.
It came from a pumpkin spice air freshener. pic.twitter.com/idbdTKldWv
— Kurt Chirbas (@kchirbas) October 5, 2017
Heiser said several students and teachers had difficulty breathing.
Two students and three adults were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, after reporting an ailing stomach, per The Baltimore Sun.
The Hazmat team and the Baltimore City Fire Department arrived on scene soon after 2.30 p.m, on Thursday, Oct. 5, according to a statement posted on the school’s website.
Officials carried out safety checks and took primary and secondary readings in the school, Baltimore Fire Chief Roman Clark said to WBALTV 11. Both readings were negative.
Then, a firefighter identified a very seasonal cause for the evacuation–a pumpkin spice flavored air freshener.
“This plug-in air freshener that basically puts out the odor every so many seconds, and it’s a pumpkin spice, and that’s exactly what, if you go in there, you can smell, so it has been identified. It is not hazardous at all,” said Clark.
While there was no danger, Clark said, “It was better safe than sorry,” The Baltimore Sun reports.
A statement on the school’s website noted that a counselor is available for the students to talk about Thursday’s events.
Classes resume on Friday.