by Tim Burkhardt, staff writer
On Saturday evening, the Gladfelter building had to be evacuated in the middle of the dinner-time meal. The evacuation occurred because students in lower Glad detected the scent of gas in the air. Reacting quickly, but not calmly, someone called the fire department who brought multiple firetrucks and an end to dinner for everyone.
“I was in the middle of my meal when I was forced to leave,” senior James Page said. “I wasn’t allowed to go back for my food. I was severely disappointed.”
This turned out to be a slight overreaction, as the cause of the smell was not truly dangerous.
“A pilot light went out, and gas was leaking,” said Public Safety officer Terry Duckworth.
A pilot light is a small flame that stays burning inside many deep fryers and furnaces. If the flame goes out, a small trickle of gas will slip out into the atmosphere, but not enough to be dangerous.
According to Brian O’Loughlin, General Manager of Gladfelter, the call to the fire department was unnecessary.
“If someone just contacted one of the managers here, everything could have been avoided,” O’Loughlin said. “Someone jumped the gun.”