The smoke that prompted evacuation of Heritage Middle School just before classes were to begin Monday morning was caused by a short in an electrical connection to a fan in ductwork, West Ada School District spokesman Eric Exline said.
The problem was discovered in the area of the south-wing drama room at the school, 4990 Meridian Road, Exline said.
The school’s 1,150 students in grades 6 through 8 were evacuated as a precaution shortly after 8 a.m. and were allowed to return to the building at 9:20 a.m. after investigators identified the problem, he said.
“Anytime you have smoke or the smell of something burning, it’s typical to pull the fire alarm and evacuate the building,” Exline said.
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Nothing caught fire, and the fan was removed from the ductwork, he said. It was unclear Monday afternoon whether the fan can be repaired or must be replaced, he said.