Right before a Penn Manor High School wrestling match against Elizabethtown with more than 300 people attending is no time for a fire drill but that’s exactly what happened Wednesday night.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the high school building. Fans and athletes from both schools were outside shivering trying to keep warm while temperatures dropped below 30 degrees and a chilly wind made it more uncomfortable.
“That was exciting,” said Jeff Roth, Athletic Director at Penn Manor; “I evacuated everyone from the building. That was the first time I had to do that in 10 years.”
With the wrestling match scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., the crowd of people was still was still outside as police and fire engines started to arrive along with the district superintendent Mike Lichleiter. As the crowd filed out of the school, most were still unsure as to what was going on.
“We were in the middle of a photo shoot and the cop came in and told us all to leave the building,” said Brock Kauffman, a wrestler at Penn Manor.
After standing out in the cold for longer than 45 minutes, people were informed that there was no fire in the high school.
“The fire alarm going off was due to a faulty smoke detector,” said Principal Phil Gale.
The smoke detector that caused this event was in a storage closet close to the nurse’s office which is making some say dust or spiders could have done it.
The wrestling match did not start until 7:30pm., and was not over until 9:45pm.
By Mary Treier