Dartford Grammar School for Girls students forced to evacuate after smoke spotted minutes before planned drill

Three fire engines arrived for what pupils thought was only a drill (pic by Emma Rossiter).

Three fire engines arrived for what pupils thought was only a drill (pic by Emma Rossiter).

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Students at Dartford Grammar School for Girls had to evacuate after smoke was spotted coming from a power room less than an hour before a scheduled fire drill.

Pupils were enjoying their lunch at around 1.40pm on Tuesday when the fire alarm sounded, causing confusion as there was a drill set for 2.30pm.

Students at the Shepherds Lane School waited patiently on the netball courts but soon realised it was no drill when three fire engines turned up.

Year 13 student Hazel Millar said: “The caretaker told us to move onto the lawn out front and went on to say 'there's been a fire'.

“He wasn’t the only one out the front of the school – a few members of staff were there hovering and we were all hearing rumours of an electrical fire.”

Two fire engines from Thames-side and one from Dartford arrived, but it turned out there was no fire.

In fact a main fuse intake in the school’s power room had overheated giving off smoke.

Electricity at the school was turned off for the rest of the day but was restored by the following morning.

Human resources manager and PA to the headteacher Lorraine Hamlyn said: “It was one of those freak occurrences that coincided with a planned fire drill.

“As always the student’s behaviour was excellent throughout and they were very calm.”

This story was posted online by News Shopper Young Reporter Emma Rossiter. To check out what our Young Reporters have been up to or to join yourself, click here

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