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Smoking light prompts evacuation at La Cañada Elementary School

September 30, 2011|By Daniel Siegal daniel.siegal@latimes.com

A fluorescent light at La Cañada Elementary School started smoking shortly before the school’s early-bird dismissal at 1:55 p.m., leading students to be evacuated while a crew from Fire Station 82 checked the fixture.

Sharon Hancock, receptionist at the La Cañada Elementary, said that it was an old light fixture and the ballast on it had started smoking. Hancock said that although there was fortunately no fire, the school did evacuate.

“We did evacuate and we got plenty of practice now,” said Hancock.

Captain Brian Kane, of Station 82, said that firefighters quickly ascertained that the situation was safe.

“It’s very common… there’s no chance of a fire,” said Kane  “They short out and then they trip the circuit breaker and that’s it.”

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A ballast on a fluorescent light is a component that limits the amount of current allowed to run through the circuit. 

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--Dan Siegal, Times Community News

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