25 Investigates

25 Investigates: Vape pen possible source of odor that sent 30 high school students to hospitals

KINGSTON, Mass. — A vape pen may have been the source of a strong odor at Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston last month that sent nearly three dozen students and teachers to hospitals, according to Massachusetts Department of Fire Services report obtained by 25 Investigates.

The report states the official cause of the odor is unknown but the chemical that made people feel sick was “possibly [a] type of personal vaporizer, oil or aerosol.”

The report adds two firefighters reported an “odor like fruit – vape” when they took off their masks in a hallway.

A vape pen heats an oil until a vapor is produced. That vapor is then inhaled through a mouthpiece.

During the incident on February 7, 30 students and four adults were taken to area hospitals to be evaluated after reporting feeling dizzy and throat irritation.

The Kingston Fire Department evacuated the school’s nearly 1,200 students and staff members as a precaution. At the time, the town’s deputy fire chief, Adam Hatch, told Boston 25 News air quality tests conducted by a state hazardous material team were inconclusive, but they were confident the atmosphere was safe. Students returned to class the following Monday.

Boston 25 News reached out to Silver Lake Regional School Superintendent Jill Proulx for comment on the report.

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