No evacuation ordered at Los Fresnos school near fire
Sat, 04 Feb 2012 03:51:03 GMT —
With a large structure fire near Las Yescas Elementary, yellow is no longer the only flashing light at the school zone.
Laura Cumpian fears the worst when she sees fire truck and law enforcement emergency flashing lights.
"When you pulled up what was your reaction," Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked?
"Something happened... That's the first thing... My kid... Something happened," she answered.
Los Fresnos C.I.S.D. administration activates an emergency plan.
"Anytime there's a fire near a school... It's a little too close.... it's not comfortable," Superintendent Gonzalo Salazar said.
He arrives on scene shortly after the school is notified about the blaze.
Nearly a dozen buses are prepositioned outside the school some two hours before the final bell.
"We prepositioned buses so that we could evacuate the school at a moment's notice... And then begin to communicate with emergency officials," the superintendent said.
Student safety is a top priority, according to Mr. Salazar.
Chemicals, like paints and roofing material, are believed to be burning in the blaze.
Wind is a major factor in the decision not to evacuate the school.
"If the wind was blowing in a different direction and we were getting smoke at the school then we would have made a different decision... And I know emergency management would have respectedthat," the superintendent said.
The Longhorns dismiss at the regular time, despite the thick, black smoke seen billowing into the sky.
Buses reroute around blocked streets.
School parents differ on decisions made.
Laura: "They need to let us know everything ahead of time... That's what I think."
Ryan: "You didn't know anything about it?"
Daniel Villarreal didn't think it was necessary to evacuate.
"I think where the wind was blowing the way they were ... They were right in keeping the kids here," he said.
While evacuation plans are never fully tested at the fire, the district grades itself high on readiness.
"I give our staff and students a big A+.... they should have a great weekend... They did a great job," Mr. Salazar said.