The Fire Drill
It was a normal day of school, there were no indications of anything special. Students arrived in the morning, went to class, complained about how tired they were to their friends,who complained about something else right back. The same thing, just with a different day. Midway through the second period things started getting interesting. That was when fire alarm began going off. Everyone stopped what they were doing and having had experience with fire drills, the students and teachers all began heading outside via the planned upon routes.
Most of the students were outside in the field adjacent to the school when a room in the second floor of the northwest corner exploded, showering glass below onto the pavement. Cries of surprise and panic could be heard from students and teachers alike as they tried to flee from the school. This was not a drill, not anymore. The common emergency protocol of “walk, don’t run” was little more than an after thought as everyone was now running as far away as they could from the now burning school. This was not a drill, not anymore.
The blast happened in the chemistry room; a lab requiring the Bunsen burners was in session prior to the drill and one of the more timid students leaped up in surprise when the alarm rang, knocking her burner over and onto the rubber hose of the adjacent lab group’s burner. The chemistry teacher saw the event happen and immediately went for the emergency shut off valve, yelling for the students to shut their gas valves. The intense heat of the Bunsen burner coupled with the old, damaged hose was too much, however, and the gas line ignited.
Firefighters were on the scene in minutes, thanks to the school policy of having the fire department supervise fire drills, and were guiding those still inside out to safety. Those watching from the fields sat in shock as more firefighters ran in to get the students out who were still by the chemistry lab room. They watched hoping to see everyone make it out safe.