On Friday, March 24, around 11:15 a.m., a fire broke out in the vents of the agricultural mechanics shop of Los Banos High School.
What started off as a normal day turned into a series of events that nobody would have anticipated before.
In the past, students have pulled fire alarms, or an alarm has been triggered by other activities around campus. Just like those incidents, many students doing work in their third period expected this to be a false alarm.
Though many students were hesitant to walk into the fields for fire drill formations, students were shocked when security guards had gone running from class to class telling people to evacuate.
Grabbing whatever they could in a haste, students were even more surprised to walk past the shop onto the grass fields where thick smoke had been coming from the shop exhaust.
Friday being a windy day, the fire put up a fight before it was put out by the Los Banos and Merced County Fire Departments.. Students were on the grass fields for about 40 minutes to an hour before it was safe to go back to class.
“From this experience,” one student said, “I’ve learned not to take the fire alarm lightly. Although the fire was contained, it was right above the mechanics shop where there are oxygen tanks and welding equipment that could potentially be explosive.
“Since we have had false alarms in the past,” the student said, “this fire just opened my eyes to always be aware of my surroundings.”
Although it has not yet been disclosed how much was damaged and how much repairs are going to cost, students in the shop have finally been able to continue working on their welding projects for the fair. They have been notified to proceed with caution.