SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Middle School was evacuated Thursday, according to an email from Principal Lynn Irby. According to Irby, the "smell of gas was reported, and as a necessary precaution we notified the South Orange Fire Department (SOFD). The building was evacuated while the premises were investigated."

After receiving clearance from the SOFD, staff and students returned to the building, stated Irby.

According to student reports, the evacuation happened at about 11 a.m., between third and fourth periods, and lasted less than 30 minutes.

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Eighth-grade student Molly Sandler reported that there was a "bad smell" in her first-floor classroom, and several minutes later teachers in the hallway told students to evacuate the building immediately.

Irby's email commended students "for a great job on exiting the building quickly and quietly," and also thanked the South Orange Fire Department "for their quick response and assistance."