Firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 place fans outside this portable classroom at Sequim High School after a faulty heater started to smoke Friday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 place fans outside this portable classroom at Sequim High School after a faulty heater started to smoke Friday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Faulty heater leads to Sequim High School evacuation

SEQUIM — Sequim High School classes were evacuated into the pouring rain after students and staff smelled smoke in a classroom.

Firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 firefighters arrived at about 11:15 a.m. Friday when a fire alarm was pulled in Steve Mahitka’s agricultural science classroom in a portable north of the greenhouse.

Mahitka said in an interview he turned on a heater earlier in the morning, and later a student began to smell smoke in his third period class, so he pulled the fire alarm.

Assistant Chief Tony Hudson said it appears the classroom heater was faulty and Sequim school district maintenance crews were assessing the issue.

Mahitka said his classes for the remainder of the day were moved to the greenhouse as smoke was fanned out.

No physical damage to the classroom was reported.

Fire officials report they previously reported to the school on Sept. 19 for a pellet smoker releasing excessive smoke, leading a teacher to sound a fire alarm.

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