Students and staff at Old Quarry Middle School were evacuated Thursday afternoon after a fire alarm was intentionally pulled in the school's music hallway.
The alarm sounded at approximately 1:08 p.m., prompting the school to respond with the appropriate emergency prodedures, said Old Quarry Assistant Principal Shirley Kleehammer.
The Lemont Fire Protection District responded to the incident, and found no fire. Upon closer inspection, Old Quarry Principal Bill Caron and fire officials concluded that a fire alarm box was intentionally pulled in the music hallway, Kleehammer said.
Students and staff were given clearance to re-enter the building at approximately 1:23 p.m.
Although the temperature was below freezing when the building was evacuated—and building occupants were forced to exit without grabbing their coats—Kleehammer said students and staff kept warm at the CORE Fitness and Aquatic Complex and Centennial Community Center, both located in the nearby Lemont Park District campus.
Students in wheelchairs sat in staff members' cars to avoid traveling on the snowy sidewalks between the school and the park district, she said.
Kleehammer said school officials will begin an investigation to identify the student or group of students who pulled the fire alarm.
"This is a serious offense that will result in serious consequences for the students involved," she said.