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Get a whiff of this!

Michelle Darrisaw
October 10, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, everyone isn’t obsessed with the smell of pumpkin spice. Just ask some of the teachers and students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore, Maryland, who became quite sick of the trend—literally.

On Thursday, October 5, the faculty and students at the school reported an "unusual smell" coming from the third floor of the building. According to the school’s principal, Bill Heiser, several students and teachers were having trouble breathing. In fact, the pungent odor was so powerful that two students and three adults at the Maryland high school ended up in the hospital with upset stomachs for the remainder of the afternoon. Cause of injury? A pumpkin spice air freshener.

As a precaution, Heiser and school officials decided to evacuate more than 200 students and teachers from the building, while alerting emergency services. As reported by The Baltimore Sun, the fire department arrived with assistance from a Hazmat team. Dressed in their impermeable, protective suits, the team tested the building for hazardous materials. Fortunately, for all those involved, the test results came back negative and classes resumed the next day on October 6. Whew! Pumpkin spice crisis averted.

The official statement posted on the school’s website read: "After extensive testing, the BCFD [Baltimore City Fire Department] determined that the building was safe."

You may be wondering how officials determined that air freshener was the sole culprit. Well, once firefighters opened up the windows to air out the building, they discovered the aerosol plug-in inside a third-floor classroom. So it would appear for the staff and students at Cristo Rey Jesuit the odorous aroma of pumpkin spice isn’t always so nice.

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Despite this alarming incident, we’re pretty sure the demand for pumpkin spice-flavored food, candles, and lattes won’t be slowing down anytime soon.