Officials believe pepper spray odor led to Tates Creek middle school evacuation

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Posted at 11:26 AM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 12:18:50-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Tates Creek Middle School students and staff were evacuated Thursday morning and relocated to Tates Creek High School due to an "unknown odor" which officials now say they believe was pepper spray.

Fire crews were dispatched just after 10:00 a.m. for a report of an unknown substance within the school, according to Lexington Fire Department.

An FCPS spokesperson said a few staff members reported throat irritation and a student began having difficulty breathing. The student was transported via ambulance for additional medical treatment.

We are told the elementary school and high school buildings were not impacted.

Air levels are returning to normal on their own, indicating the unknown substance is dissipating, according to LFD. Crews will ventilate the building well before allowing students and faculty to return.

FCPS officials ask parents and guardians not to come to the Tates Creek campus as fire crews work to isolate the area of the building impacted.

This is a developing story, stay with us for the latest.