Esko students were evacuated Monday, Sept. 16, after carbon monoxide was detected in the school.

According to Esko Fire Chief Kyle Gustafson, an auto fire alarm call went off at 8:58 a.m. The assistant chief and school custodian Tony Compo noticed the smell of unburnt fuel and tested the air in the boiler area, which is near the gym, but away from the classrooms.

Compo discovered a high level of carbon monoxide. Due to the closed doors in the boiler area, most of the carbon monoxide was contained to the room. Some areas of the school, such as the gym tested very low levels, and others contained zero carbon monoxide.

“He shut down the water heater right away,” Gustafson said.

Esko Superintendent Aaron Fischer said there was a problem with the water heater exhaust.

The students were evacuated to St. Matthews Lutheran Church while the school was aired out with giant exhaust fans until there was no detection of carbon monoxide anywhere in the school.

“It was more convenient to move the kids so they could be comfortable while we assessed the situation,” Fischer said.

It took about two hours to resolve the situation.

Carlton Fire and Ambulance, the Carlton County Sheriff Department and Minnesota Power also responded to the call.