Gas leak forces students into rain

By Liam Hughes

The Charter News


Some ACA students called it stupid, the staff called it an emergency evacuation, and everyone called it rainy. However, the October 13th evacuation can also be a good example of what to do and what not to do during an emergency.


In case you missed it, ACA had a real emergency evacuation on October 13th because of a suspected natural gas leak in the building. According to former director Laura Fabrycki, it may have been the first in ACA’s history. Luckily, no one was injured in the chaos, and everyone returned to the building after NW Natural gave the ‘all clear’ signal.


Although nothing bad happened, it can be used as an example of how important safety is in a real life emergency. One of the way is through how we performed it. Despite the multitude of practice drills, a decent amount of people didn’t take it seriously, so it seemed to take a little longer than it was supposed to for us to get into lines. Either way, the school as a whole can learn from those mistakes for the possibility of another emergency in the future.


Another thing to learn about is the natural gas aspect of it. Winter is near, so many people will be using natural gas furnaces. It is important to know proper safety in what to do if there is a gas leak. Although our gas leak was a false alarm, gas leaks should not be taken lightly.

Daphne Mathew, NW Natural’s Public Information Officer, explained the best way to stay safe during a gas leak.


“We make natural gas smell bad for a reason. If you smell a rotten egg odor or suspect a  leak, leave the area and call us at 800.882.3377. Don’t ignore it or try and look for the cause.”


Wrapping it up with, “Smell, Go, Let us know.”


All in all, the experience was an effective way for us to see what we are doing well in emergency procedures and what we can still improve in our practice throughout the years. Hopefully, however, we will never have to use them for anything more than a drill again.


Online., “Gas Education.” Learn The Myths And Science Of Natural Gas – NW Natural. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.


Mathew, Daphne. “NW Natural- PIO.” E-mail interview. 05 Nov. 2016.


Lara Fabrycki

Photo Credit- ThinkStock- (Through HowStuffWorks)

(Photo from


Science-How Stuff Works