Students return to Linton Middle School following evacuation |

Students return to Linton Middle School following evacuation

Linton Middle School at 250 Aster St. in Penn Hills.

A smell of smoke caused a temporary evacuation early Friday at Linton Middle School in the Penn Hills School District, but students and staff returned to the building later in the morning.

Penn Hills Fire Marshal Chuck Miller said the odor was a smoke smell that came from an empty pan that had been left on a heating element.

“There wasn’t even enough smoke to set off a fire alarm,” he said, adding there was no danger posed.

“The heat and metal created the smell,” Miller said. Fire officials spent about 30 minutes at the school to get rid of the smell by using portable fans that firefighters carry on trucks, he said.

Students initially were moved to the high school auditorium along Collins Drive, officials posted on the district website. Buses, students and staff making their way to the school were also redirected to the high school, Superintendent Nancy Hines said.

Hines said the decision to evacuate the building came after consulting with Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton, who advised the district to dispatch fire officials.

The smell, which officials first described as a “suspicious odor,” was reported around 7:30 a.m. By 8:40 a.m., Hines said students and staff had returned to the middle school along Aster Street and normal school operations had resumed by around 9 a.m.

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