Gas Smell Forces School Evacuation

Staff Writer

A gasoline smell forced an evacuation of a Maspeth middle school on Monday morning.

FDNY responded to a call of a gas odor at around 9 a.m. June 2 at the Martin Luther School on Maspeth Avenue.

A FDNY spokesperson said they did not find a gas leak or the cause of the odor, but they flushed out the school’s sewer system and concluded their investigation around 10:30 a.m.

The school’s spokesperson, Kelli Westfal, said the students were evacuated to the nearby St. Stanislaus Church, where they stayed for about an hour, before being dismissed for the day.

Westfal described it as smelling like “gasoline that you put in your car.”

She said the kids were calm during the evacuation and did not panic.

“They’ve done fire drills and stuff like that before so they were fine,” Westfal said.

Although they did not go back to class, the school was open for class at its normal 8 a.m. starting time the next day, Westfal said.

“The safety of the children is foremost and we just wanted to get them out of the building,” she said.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127,, or @luisgronda.