A gas leak caused an evacuation for students and faculty of Detroit Lakes High School on Tuesday, Sep. 29.

A utility company doing service work onsite discovered the leak in a deteriorating 3-inch natural gas line near the northeast corner of the building and reported the leak to school officials, which triggered the mass evacuation, according to the Detroit Lakes Police Department. Officers from the police department and members of the Becker County Sheriff's Office responded and set up road blocks surrounding the school.

Police are encouraging residents to avoid Roosevelt Avenue, James Street, Madison Avenue and Granger Road, near the high school.

Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd said his officers were on scene within two minutes of receiving the report.

Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd speaks to driver while conducting traffic at Detroit Lakes High School after a gas leak was reported and students were evacuated. (Michael Achterling / Tribune)
Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd speaks to driver while conducting traffic at Detroit Lakes High School after a gas leak was reported and students were evacuated. (Michael Achterling / Tribune)

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"We evacuated really well, and the city responded right away," said Mark Jenson, superintendent of Detroit Lakes Public Schools.

Jenson said this evacuation was like a fire drill, which the students have trained for, and the students knew the routine.

"The kids were great and we didn't have any issues," said Darren Wolf, principal at Detroit Lakes High School. "They came out just fine and followed directions, just like always."

Wolf said the students are expected to follow distance learning guidelines for the rest of Tuesday and hopes to be back in class tomorrow. Parents should consult the school website and emailed notifications for updates as they become available.