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Head Start building evacuated after gas leak

BEMIDJI -- A gas leak prompted leaders at a Bemidji preschool to evacuate the building on Wednesday morning.

Someone at the Bi-County Community Action Programs’ (Bi-CAP) Head Start Center on Conifer Avenue Northwest smelled gas outside the building while parents were dropping off their students there. Bi-CAP staff enacted their “crisis response” plan and evacuated the building, which meant parents who hadn’t already shown up were asked to keep their students home, others were turned away at the door, and about 50-60 more students were stashed on buses while they waited to be picked back up.

Staff at Bemidji High School were also ready to receive the preschoolers, but Bi-CAP Executive Director Barb Moran said it wasn’t necessary.

Maintenance crews had found and fixed the leak by 9 a.m.

The building is closed for the day but is set to reopen Monday.

Joe Bowen

Joe Bowen covers education and health for the Bemidji Pioneer.

He is a Minneapolis native and a 2009 graduate of St. John's University. Before moving to Bemidji, Bowen covered education, local politics, crime, and everything in between for the Perham Focus in Perham, Minnesota, and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis.

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