NJ School Evacuated After Strange Smell Reported; Odor Traced to Peppermint Oil in the Basement: Officials - NBC New York

NJ School Evacuated After Strange Smell Reported; Odor Traced to Peppermint Oil in the Basement: Officials

“It’s totally non-hazardous. It is just organic peppermint oil,” Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott told News 4. "I guess it just went a little bad and smelled pungent"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    'Pungent' Peppermint Oil Leads to NJ School Evacuation

    Paterson School No. 10 in New Jersey was evacuated Thursday morning after a report of a strong odor. The "pungent" scent was later traces to peppermint oil.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019)

    What to Know

    • Paterson School 10 was evacuated after police got a call reporting a strange smell inside the building

    • Firefighters didn't detect any carbon monoxide inside the building. They ultimately traced the smell to peppermint oil containers

    • One teacher was taken to the hospital after complaining of dizziness, officials said

    A New Jersey school was evacuated after students and teachers smelled something strange — but firefighters eventually traced the odor to peppermint oil in the basement, officials said.

    Paterson School 10, on Mercer Street in Paterson, was evacuated around 9 a.m. Thursday after police got a call reporting an “odor of gas” inside the building, Jerry Speziale, public safety director for the City of Paterson, told News 4.

    One teacher was taken to the hospital after she said she felt dizzy, he said.

    Firefighters, however, didn’t detect any carbon monoxide when they tested the air inside the school, according to Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott. 

    AFP via Getty Images

    When they searched the school’s basement, they discovered the odor was “emanating from peppermint oils,” McDermott said.

    “It’s totally non-hazardous. It is just organic peppermint oil,” McDermott told News 4, adding that the oil was in “several little containers.”

    “I guess it just went a little bad and smelled pungent,” he added.

    It wasn't immediately clear why the peppermint oil containers were in the basement.

    McDermott planned to cancel the evacuation and let students back into the school, Speziale said.

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