Written by Tom Kippen
Last updated on February 22, 2013 @ 8:02PM
Created on February 22, 2013 @ 7:04PM
While most schools across North Central West Virginia had a two hour delay Friday, East Park Elementary School in Marion County kept students home due to a positive reading for carbon monoxide. That positive reading came from a furnace in an older section of the building.
The school has been having issues throughout the week with one furnace, and students and staff have been complaining about an odor. The carbon monoxide detectors have sounded twice in the school this week, first on Monday and then again on Thursday. Both times students were moved to the annex building until they were dismissed from school. The fire department and gas company went through the building early Tuesday morning and found no positive readings. They gave the go ahead to have school on Tuesday. After the alarms went off again on Thursday a positive reading was found near the furnace area. No positive readings were found in the classroom areas. The school district erred on the side of caution and canceled school for Friday which left concern for some parents about the air quality in the school.
"My biggest concern was my daughter's safety. I don't want her to be breathing in toxic fumes. You hear so many horror stories as it is about Carbon Monoxide. It's colorless & odorless. So without those detectors going off how do really know? It's like a silent killer" said Rosa Hixon, parent of a third grader at East Park Elementary".
Officials told 5 News that they have contacted Columbus Heating to adjust the furnace and D.W. Drake has been contacted to build a new liner for the chimney. With the furnace company out of state at this time there is no time table on when the furnace will be fixed. In the meantime students will head back to school on Monday.
"When the students and staff report back to school they will not use the old section of the building, it makes up about the third of the school. They will use the newer section of the building, some of the classrooms will be in the auditorium and then a couple cases maybe a music room will be used as a classroom". said Gary Price Marion County Schools Superintendent
On Thursday a parent went to the annex building and pulled the fire alarm. That parent's name has been given to the fire marshal.
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