SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - There was a brief evacuation at South Mountain Elementary School (the "big school") on Monday due to a gas odor, according to an email sent to South Mountain families at about 11 a.m. 

According to the email, this morning the school nurse noticed a smell of gas, which was reported to the South Orange Fire Department. While the Fire Department investigated, students and staff were safely evacuated as a precaution, stated the email.

The email stated that the Fire Department identified the source of the smell as external to the building, and was the result of work being done on gas lines at the intersection of West End Road and Wyoming Avenue.

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After clearance from the Fire Department, South Mountain staff and students returned to the building at about 10:10 a.m., according to school district officials.

"As always, student safety remains a top priority in our district.  We are grateful to the South Orange Fire Department for their quick response and assistance," stated the email.