Small gas leak closes Greenback School again

By: Mark Edwards Email
By: Mark Edwards Email

GREENBACK, Tenn. (WVLT) -- "This is a travesty. I've never seen anything this pitiful in my life."

Cathie Johnson is mad. Ten times this year gas leaks at her kids' school have forced evacuations and missed classes.

"That my children have to come to a school, go into a classroom and not know whether they're going to come home that day, and I have to worry that they're not going to. I'm not doing it," Johnson told WVLT.

This morning, as the Building Committee was meeting inside the library, workers noticed the tenth gas leak since school started this year.

"It was in the girls' locker room. We detected a smell of gas as the crew was working in there, putting in cable, they detected a smell of gas. We checked it, we had a very, very small leak," said Greenback FIre Chief Ronnie Lett.

Just two weeks ago, another gas leak shut down classes at Greenback for four days. This has frustrated everyone associated with the school.

"I cannot even begin to make an excuse for this. I want them to understand that we're doing all that we can in our power to see that this school's safe," Principal Joey Breedlove, said.

As Cathie Johnson takes her two kids home she's not sure when or if they'll be back.

"This school and nobody else is going to make my children come to this school, and I'm taking my kids home, and when somebody has a problem with it and wants to know where my kids are, they know where they can find me."


GREENBACK, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Two weeks to the day after a gas leak forced a week-long closure at Greenback School in Loudon County, firefighters detect another leak, this time in the gymnasium.

Only the gymnasium has been evacuated and the gas has been turned off in that area.

Greenback Fire Chief Ronnie Lett says the problem stems from a heater with a plug-in line in one of the locker rooms.

The leak is being plugged and the heating unit will be replaced by the end of the day.

Greenback Principal Joey Breedlove says it is very disheartening to be dealing with another gas leak so soon after repairs were made.

He says he just wants the children to be educated in a safe environment.

School will dismiss at the normal time.

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