Heaters malfunction, carbon monoxide detected at McKenzie Elementary

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MCKENZIE, Tenn.–Cold classes and a lethal gas have some parents of McKenzie Elementary students saying they are disappointed with the school. Friday, school board chair John Austin confirmed small levels of carbon monoxide had been detected in the school. He said they are not considered dangerous. Parents said they are shocked the school did not send out notification.”Even if it’s a low level, it can get a higher level,” said David French. French has two children at the school. He said he probably would have kept them home for the day had he known about the sometimes fatal gas in the air. On top of the toxin, some classrooms are also left without working heaters, according to school staff. School officials would not say exactly how many classrooms are without heat or when they first noticed the problem. Staff said they have relocated several students into rooms with working units. Jennie Irons has two grandchildren in the school. She said, she had no idea some classrooms were going cold. In light of the school’s heater malfunction, Irons said she thinks this has been an issue for days because of the lingering congestion in her grand daughters chest.” I’ll doctor her at night and then she comes home at night and it seems like she’s more congested,” she said. WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News did obtain a copy of a letter sent home with students Friday afternoon, advising parents to dress children warmly. There was no mention of the carbon monoxide. School officials could not say what is causing the heater malfunction or when they expect them to be up and running again. We were told the director of the McKenzie School District is out of town and unable to comment.

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