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Sims Elementary briefly evacuated for smoke false alarm

CONYERS - The school day started outside for many Sims Elementary students as the school was evacuated early this morning when what looked like smoke was spotted. The alarm turned out to be false, however.

The Rockdale Fire Rescue Division was called around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. Children being brought to school were rerouted to fire drill locations as the potential smoke was investigated.

"There was no fire," said RCFR spokesperson Jacade Long.

It ended up being a faulty heat pump that began emitting smoke.

The evacuation only lasted about a half hour and the all-clear signal was given around 7:30 a.m., according to a Rockdale County Public Schools spokesperson.

Sims Elementary parent Sean Kimbell, who was dropping off his 10-year-old daughter, praised the school administration's handling of what could have been a chaotic situation. Teachers and administrators made the necessary adjustments and the process went smoothly, he said.