UPDATED: Students back in Mahan School in Norwich after air conditioner overheats

Norwich — An overheated air conditioner in the principal’s office at Thomas W. Mahan Elementary School was the cause of a smoky condition that sent firefighters to the school Tuesday.

The school designated the Savings Institute bank branch in front of the school as the emergency evacuation location. About 300 students and staff walked to the bank in Tuesday’s hot weather and sat on the floor in the bank lobby.

The fire was quickly contained, and the students and staff returned to the school and continued the school day normally, Superintendent of Schools Abby Dolliver said.

East Great Plain Deputy Fire Chief Keith Milton said firefighters responded at 12:30 p.m. and found the overheated unit. He said the situation was resolved in minutes with only minor damage. No sprinklers went off, Milton said.

Dolliver, who was at the scene, said the evacuation proceeded as detailed in the school’s contingency plan. Police closed the bank and cordoned off the area during the evacuation, Dolliver said.

Dolliver thanked the bank, police and fire officials for their immediate response to the fire.

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