Fire alarm goes off for third time in month


Photo by Leslie Fireman

Students stand in front of the stadium fence alongside Wood Street in West Chicago.

By Jonathan Saucedo, Opinions Editor

After the fire alarm went off for the third time in a month at 2:19 p.m. on March 22, students and staff were forced to evacuate in what could be called a frequent occurrence as of late at West Chicago Community High School.

Although the “all-clear” was given just 10 minutes later, students were left wondering why their classes were interrupted yet again for an alarm.

“There was a glitch in our mechanical room on the second floor,” Director of Deans Veronica Jimenez-Winton said.

Students proceed out of the building on March 10, just a day after the fire alarm rang out during the Parade of Champions. (Photo by Leslie Fireman)

Previously, on March 9, the fire alarm also rang throughout the hallways at WCCHS impacting the day and a special event for the school’s two state champions, winners junior Brady Johnson and senior Nolan Allen, as well as state runner-up Jayden Huesca-Rodriguez. 

“The first day it went off because the park district was in Commons looking to hire students for summer work, and they wanted to make popcorn to encourage students to come to their table and learn about the job opportunities they have. The popcorn machine got too hot, and made steam, and the fire alarm went off,” Jimenez-Winton said.

At the time, a parade was being held inside of the building as a celebration for the school’s state competitors in both swimming and wrestling. Members of the band got into their uniforms and played the WCCHS school song as the champions walked in the middle of halls lined with student spectators. 

According to Jimenez-Winton, the fire alarm should never be pulled as a joke, only during emergencies. (Photo by Jonathan Saucedo)

Then, an unexpected fire alarm rang out, prompting the students and staff to exit the builidng and stand out in the cold for slightly less than 10 minutes, chipping away at the time allowed for the school’s parade.

The next day, the fire alarm went off again at 11:23 a.m.

The second day, it went off due to a faulty sensor in Student Services. Our maintenance department replaced the sensor within minutes of the incident,” Jimenez-Winton said.

While the Wildcat Chronicle was able to obtain information as to the cause of the fire alarms, students lacked details and spread false rumors.

“The pulling of the fire alarm was very unnecessary, as we were already forced to go outside to watch the parade out of our free will, then we had to go outside in the cold and wait because of some kid’s dumb actions,” sophomore Puneet Chohan said.

To set the record straight, no student pulled the alarm at WCCHS. however, it is still important to know that touching the fire alarm is no joke, and there can be major consequences for both school and student if someone pulls a prank involving the fire alarm.

 “The school consequence would be a suspension for some period of time, depending on the situation. The legal penalty would be getting charged with disorderly conduct, which is also a ticket and a fine. The fine would be dependent on what the fire department would determine the cost of their response is,” Jimenez-Winton said.