Jeffco Open School to stay closed as crews look substance that made kids sick

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Investigators will return to Jefferson County Open School on Tuesday after students had to be evacuated and washed off outside because of a mysterious toxic substance. Some even went to the hospital.

At first, investigators thought fertilizer applied to the soccer field caused the problem, but that has been ruled out. There was some sort of chemical in the air that affected kids on the school playground.

"So far, our hazmat detectors have not picked up specifically what the issue was," West Metro Fire Deputy Chief Scott Roger said.

Thirty kids were treated and seven were taken to the hospital. In order to decontaminate the students, firefighters set up a tent and rinsed and then showered the children.

Wearing paper medical suits, the students were taken to a school bus, carrying their own bags. Despite the circumstances, firefighters say the kids were calm and efficient.

"It's always a scary deal when you get the call to come get your kid," one parent said.

Firefighters escorted all other students to a nearby church to meet their anxious parents.

Although classes have been canceled Tuesday, firefighters say the school and the neighborhood are safe.

  • Several ambulances gathered outside the Jefferson County Open School after a hazardous materials incident there Monday afternoon.

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