Schools in both Ashley County school districts were forced to evacuate because of smoke incidents last week.

The first incident happened at Crossett Middle School the afternoon of Jan. 17.

Students were moved outside the school and stood in groups on the lawn while members of the Crossett Fire Department checked the building after smoke was detected in the building.

The school district later released a statement on social media saying that the smoke was the result of a motor malfunction in an air conditioning unit.

The matter was quickly resolved and students were able to return to class.

“Thank you very much to the staff, the Crossett Fire Department and Police Department for their help in securing the safety of our students,” the district’s social media statement said.

The following day, Hamburg High School was evacuated after smoke was detected in the gymnasium shortly before 1 p.m.

The Hamburg district released a statement on social media saying the students were removed from the building per the school’s evacuation plan, and while it did not specify the source of smoke, the statement said the Hamburg Fire Department located the cause and classes were able to return to normal.

Hamburg Police Chief Johnny Oliver later said the smoke was the result of an exhaust fan motor in the gym burning out, though it did not result in any actual flames.

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