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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oil spill prompts Newton middle school evacuation

NEWTON

The Oak Hill Middle School was evacuated today after a senior custodian arriving early this morning found a boiler leaking fuel oil, city officials said.

The custodian notified the city fire, health and building departments, who in turn notified the state Department of Environmental Protection, city spokesman Jeremy Solomon said.

Solomon said hazardous waste experts determined that between 5 and 10 gallons of heating oil leaked out, but deemed that the amount did not rise to the level of a "reportable incident," meaning that that surrounding environment was not contaminated.

The spill was contained with absorbent material while the Fire Department ventilated the building with fans, officials said.

As a precaution and due to the lingering smell of oil in some parts of the school, Mayor David Cohen and Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Young ordered Oak Hill students evacuated across the streeet to Brown Middle across the street at about 11:20 a.m.

Solomon said that Oak Hill Middle will hold normal classes tomorrow.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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