Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department

Gas Main Evacuates 2 Chatham Schools


By Laura Silvius Reposted from

Students at Chatham High School and Lafayette Avenue School were evacuated Thursday morning after the smell of gas was reported in both buildings.

Chatham Township Fire Lt. Matt Glogolich said a construction company building the extension to Chatham High struck a 3-in. gas main at 10:06 a.m. and caused a rupture. “There was a gas odor in Lafayette Avenue and the high school,” he said.

PSE&G secured the break at 10:41 a.m. and the schools were investigated for any additional leaks.

Chatham High students were evacuated to Corpus Christi Church until the scene was cleared. Students from Lafayette Avenue went into the gym.

“They were looking at [sending the Lafayette Avenue students] to Washington Avenue School,” Glogolich said, but the plan was abandoned because of how quickly the leak was secured and the scene was cleared. “Lafayette Avenue [students] never moved off campus,” Glogolich said.

Chatham Township Fire Department, Green Village Fire Department and the Chatham Township Police secured the scene and ventilated the buildings before allowing students inside. According to police, students were back in their classrooms by 11:15 a.m.

This is the second gas main break in Chatham Township this week.