Not a Drill

Abington Fire Department Called to Abington High School

Abington High Schools seniors Aaron Johnson (right front) and Matt Lyons (right rear) of the student newspaper The Green Wave Gazette interview fellow seniors Erin Doherty (front left) and Lily Bonner on March 16, 2021 in front of Abington High School after a fire alarm sounded and the school was evacuated.

Matthew D'Ambrosio, Contributor

What students and faculty thought to be a typical day of school on Tuesday March 16, 2021 in Abington changed dramatically in the late morning at 11:19 a.m. when unexpected fire alarms went off throughout the school during lunch. This sent hundreds of students in Pre-K through Grade 12, as well as teachers and staff, to move onto the school grounds, unaware what was happening inside.

Abington Firefighters showed up at 11:23 a.m., shortly after the alarms went off. The first fire trucks were met by Head Custodian Jaime Haughey running towards them and pointing to the back of the school.

After 17 minutes of standing outside in the cold, AHS principal, Jonathan Bourn gave students and faculty the “go ahead” to return back inside the building safely at 11:36 a.m.

“I am going to be significantly disappointed if we are not told soon what is happening,” said senior James Foley.

Thank you to our staff and students for the way they responded.

— Principal Jonathan Bourn

Mr. Bourn later cleared the air with a letter addressed to the Abington High School Community. The letter stated, “I want to make you aware that during second lunch today the main office was made aware of a small fire in the Boys bathroom in the gym area of the high school.”

Regardless of the fire, what stood out was how well-prepared the students and faculty were for this situation. Everyone in the building did their job in efficiently exiting, allowing the firefighters to get in the building to do their part.

Senior Glenn Lapointe said, “It was a very electric situation, which I feel the school did a good job in handling.”

The situation was resolved by the great work from both the Abington Fire Department and the members of all in school that day. When students returned, it was business as usual.