Heavy White Smoke and Toxic Odor Near Crown Valley Elementary Under Control

OCTA was dispatched Thursday morning to the school, officials say the incident was most likely due to crews putting down asphalt nearby.

At around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, implemented Shelter in Place procedures due to what it said was “heavy white smoke and a toxic smell coming from a neighborhood adjacent to the school grounds.”

The Orange County Fire Authority was notified and an engine was dispatched to the area of Crown Valley Parkway and Calle Vieja, according to OCFA spokesman Capt. Marc Stone.

"We sent out Engine 5 that responded to a call that came in as smoke/odor," he said. "My guess is that both the odor and the smoke—which was most likely steam—was coming from asphalt that was being put down. On a cool day, the heat goes up and the asphalt has a strong odor. That could be what they smelled."

About 15 minutes later, OCFA contacted the school, indicating everything was safe. The school and students are now back on a regular schedule

Shelter in Place procedures are implemented when it is deemed an incident in the area necessitates limited contact with the outside air ... in this case, the white smoke and toxic smell coming from a known source. 

During Shelter in Place, students remain in the buildings and the doors are shut. In a true incident, sensors in the air conditioning system automatically shut down the air flow to the classroom, cutting off the outside air pumped into the rooms. In today’s incident, the sensors did not activate. 

No Crown Valley students were in danger during this morning’s incident. 

Procedures such as Shelter in Place and Fire Evacuation are practiced on a monthly basis to help ensure student safety.

Debbie L. Sklar May 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Thank goodness the kids are OK.


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