The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Consecutive fire alarms allegedly caused by smoking or vaping

On Thursday, Jan. 11 during fifth period at approximately 12:30 in the afternoon, the fire alarm was triggered for the second time in the past two days. The day before, a fire alarm also went off during first period at 7:50 in the morning. Both fire alarms were triggered by smoke detectors at different locations inside the building.

Assistant Principal Peter Schurke says administration believes the smoke detectors setting off the fire alarms may have been caused by students either smoking or vaping near smoke detectors in separate locations within the school. Not wanting to encourage further incidents, Schurke declined to identify the locations of the smoke detectors which set off the fire alarm.

“While there is always the possibility it is a malfunction or maintenance issue with the detectors, having a malfunction two days in a row is highly unlikely,” Schurke said. “Both incidents occurred while students were in the building, suggesting that the situation may have had to do with students.”

While the possibility of a malfunction in the smoke detectors has not been ruled out and will continue to be investigated, information received by the administration has pointed mostly towards the possibility of smoking or vaping near the detector. The administration plans to hold a meeting to discuss how to proceed with the investigation and gather more information.

Maintenance workers will investigate possible causes of a malfunction in the two smoke detectors to ensure it was not conveniently timed smoke detector malfunctions which caused both fire alarms. During their brief investigation, Mountlake Terrace Fire Department firefighters found no noticeable issues with the smoke detectors; however, the administration desires further verification from another investigation conducted by maintenance personnel.

Even if the investigations do confirm the administration’s suspicions of smoking or vaping triggering the fire alarms, the identities of those responsible remain unknown. While it is possible the smoking or vaping set off the fire alarms unintentionally, the fact that two different smoke detectors were triggered in two days suggests it may have been intentional. Additionally, smoke detectors are generally not triggered by smoking or vaping unless smoke is directed towards the smoke detectors.

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About the Contributor
Nolan DeGarlais, Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief Nolan DeGarlais is in his senior year of high school and is a fourth-year staff member of the Hawkeye. This year, Nolan hopes to lead the Hawkeye in coverage of all of the events that have the potential to impact the school community. Nolan also hopes to further develop the Hawkeye as an editor and a leader by helping other staff members to be successful in all aspects of journalism, including writing, graphics, photography and design. Under his leadership, Nolan hopes that the Hawkeye will continue to shine as one of the top student publications in the state and nation. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies and spending time with friends.
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