Terrell Academy closed due to a gas leak

The gate is locked at Terrell Academy in Dawson after the school was closed due to a gas leak.
The gate is locked at Terrell Academy in Dawson after the school was closed due to a gas leak.
Yellow tape surrounds part of the Terrell Academy campus on Thursday. The school was closed due to a gas leak.
Yellow tape surrounds part of the Terrell Academy campus on Thursday. The school was closed due to a gas leak.
A Dawson police vehicle. It was the Dawson police who discovered the leak when they prepared to do a building search exercise.
A Dawson police vehicle. It was the Dawson police who discovered the leak when they prepared to do a building search exercise.
Captain Gene Shattles, an Investigator with the Dawson Police Department who was one of two people who discovered the leak.
Captain Gene Shattles, an Investigator with the Dawson Police Department who was one of two people who discovered the leak.
The sign outside of the Terrell Academy in Dawson. The fence in front of the sign was locked when the school was closed due to a gas leak on Thursday.
The sign outside of the Terrell Academy in Dawson. The fence in front of the sign was locked when the school was closed due to a gas leak on Thursday.

DAWSON, GA (WALB) - Terrell Academy is usually quite a busy place on a Thursday, but today, there are locked gates and an eerie quiet over the campus.

The only hint of an explanation as to why lies in the yellow police tape that is just visible in the distance.

The reason that the school is closed today goes back to what happened last night.

Captain Gene Shattles of the Dawson Police Department said, "they found a gas valve that was open on one of the heat units."

With gas spreading throughout the building, the police quickly sprang into action.

"City Public Works came out and actually cut the gas off to that building," said Captain Shattles.

But as it turns out, the police didn't have far to go to get to the scene.  If it hadn't been for one lucky break, it could have been much worse.

Because it was the Dawson Police who found the gas leak.

Captain Shattles said, "when we went in and unlocked the door, myself and the Assistant Chief noticed the smell of gas."

They were already at the school.

"We were doing a training class last night," said Captain Shattles.

Terrell Academy and the Dawson Police have an agreement that allows officers to come into the school and do training exercises.  The training just happened to be last night.

"We were doing a building search class," said Captain Shattles.

They've trained on handling gas leaks as well, and knew what to do.

"We took the preventative measures that we trained to do and that's call the fire department and then call in Public Works to come in and cut the gas off," said Captain Shattles.

Luckily for the school and its students, staff and faculty members.

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