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Snellville Middle students evacuate because of smoke

SNELLVILLE -- Snellville Middle School students were dismissed 45 minutes late Monday after a light haze of smoke inside the building prompted a school evacuation, officials said.

The students are typically dismissed at 4 p.m., but the school evacuation delayed the time they were sent home by nearly an hour, spokesman Jorge Quintana said.

Firefighters responded to the school at 3155 Pate Road in Snellville at about 3:15 p.m. after an alarm monitoring company and school staff called 911, said Capt. Thomas Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Fire Department. School personnel reported an odor of smoke inside the main school building.

The building was evacuated as firefighters and school maintenance workers located the source of the smoke, Rutledge said. There was no sign of fire in the building, but the smoke was traced to an air handling unit near an administrative office.

School maintenance personnel were working on repairing the air handling unit when firefighters left the scene, Rutledge said.

No injuries and no structural damage were reported.