Update: Springs School Evacuated for Smoke Investigation

Police had School Street shut down while firefighters investigated the cause of a smoke smell at the Springs School Tuesday morning. Judy D’Mello

Update, 11:18 a.m.:  “There was never any fire,” said Debra Winter, the Springs School superintendent, when she was reached about why the school was evacuated Tuesday morning.

“We pulled the fire alarm because it did not go off since the smoke was isolated to one classroom," Ms. Winter explained. Some children were still on school buses, about to be dropped off when the smoke was noticed at about 8:30 a.m. Students still on buses remained on them while those already inside the building were taken to the school’s evacuation sites: Ashawagh Hall, the Springs Library, and the Springs Community Presbyterian Church.

The Fire Department determined that a piece of caulk from the heating system fell onto a steam pipe. They found the charred caulk, the official culprit to blame for the smoke, Ms. Winter said. The fire chief could not be reached for immediate comment.

Students returned to the building at 9:45 a.m., the superintendent said.

Originally, 9:38 p.m.: The Springs School was evacuated as a precaution after people smelled smoke in the building Tuesday morning, East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said.

Chief Sarlo said students should be returning to class soon as fire officials were completing their investigation. "Parents do not need to pick up their kids. Fire drill protocols [are] being followed," he wrote in an email. 

Firefighters with the Springs Fire Department were called to 48 School Street for a possible structure fire at about 8:30 a.m., but only an engine was asked to respond. Firefighters and police were still on the scene at about 9:20 a.m. and students were keeping warm in the nearby Ashawagh Hall and the Springs Community Church. Meanwhile, School Street was blocked off for emergency vehicles.

Chief Sarlo said he would defer to fire officials on what caused the smell of smoke. 

This article will be updated with more information when it becomes available.