Jefferson County Open School closed Tuesday for hazmat situation investigation

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Jefferson County Open School will be closed Tuesday while the district investigates what made dozens of kids sick on Monday.

The K-12 school was evacuated just before 1 p.m. Monday when children on the playground started coughing and reporting itchy eyes, according to district spokeswoman Michelle Reeves.

Thirty students and one teacher aid were decontaminated. Seven students were taken to St. Anthony's Hospital and to Exempla Lutheran Medical Center for treatment.

Initially, officials suspected that fertilizer applied to a soccer field at the school might have been the source of the irritation, but fire officials ruled that out.

Firefighters using handheld monitors initially detected something in the air upon arriving, but West Metro Fire said the airborne contaminant was so small that they could not determine what it was and it quickly dissipated.

After investigation, West Metro Fire Rescue said its Hazardous Materials teams were unable to determine the exact cause of the irritant and released the school back to the district.

School district officials said its environmental services team will be at the school Tuesday investigating.

Print this article Back to Top