At approximately 2:30 Thursday afternoon, a heater that heats the hallway in the Mancos middle school malfunctioned and caused a small explosion. The smell of gas was apparent so Atmos Energy was called. As a precaution, the Mancos Fire Department was called as well.
"It just smoked up the place," said Heath Showalter, Dean of Students. "Nothing was damaged - not the furnace, not the school, not even the hallway."
The middle school kids were evacuated from the west wing and the elementary and high school buildings were put on lock down for a short time.
As of Friday morning, the gas had been turned off pending repair of the heater. Luckily, the weather was not as cold as it has been and the students are keeping warm with the aid of space heaters.
"The safety of the kids was our main goal," said Showalter. "Their response was really good."
They hope to get the gas turned on by the end of Friday.