Pumpkin Spice Air Freshener Triggers Evacuation of SE Baltimore High School

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The fall pumpkin spice craze has arrived in full force.

Local fire and Hazmat crews responded at around 2:30 p.m. yesterday to Christo Jesuit High School on S. Chester Street, according to a message on the school’s website. Students had evidently started smelling something funny on the third floor of a building.

School president Bill Heiser promptly evacuated the premises while fire department units investigated. But nothing had caught fire, and there were no toxic chemicals around. WBAL-TV reports the culprit was actually a plug-in air freshener spewing the ubiquitous, artificial fall scent of pumpkin spice.

“If you go in there, you can smell, so it has been identified,” Chief Roman Clark, a fire department spokesman, told the TV station. “It is not hazardous at all.”

Heiser told several outlets the smell kept getting worse, which led to his call to evacuate. It must have been pretty bad; EMTs treated staff members and students on-site, and five people were transported to local hospitals “as a precautionary measure,” the school said.

Classes are scheduled as usual today, but the school is offering its guidance counselor to any students who need to discuss what happened.

The story has grabbed national headlines, which probably speaks further to the aggressive draw of anything pumpkin spice around this time of year.

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