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Smoke Alarm Evacuates Garfield Middle School

Faulty HVAC fan may be the culprit in Friday’s evacuation of the middle school.

Sometimes, when there’s smoke, there’s no fire.

A malfunctioning fan in the ceiling is to blame for a fire alarm at Garfield Middle School — and the evacuation of about 600 students — on Friday morning. 

Lakewood City Schools spokeswoman Christine Gordillo said that a faulty fan in the HVAC unit in the ceiling “burnt out and emitted some smoke.”

Lakewood Fire Marshal Tim Dunphy called the issue an “electrical fan motor malfunction.”

“Everything checked out OK,” he said.

The students were evacuated just after 8 a.m., but classes resumed about 30 minutes later.

“They checked it and made sure there was no fire,” Gordillo said. 

“The fan has got to be replaced.”

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