NewsMissoula County


Small explosion investigated at Missoula's Lewis and Clark School

Lewis and Clark School Winter
Posted at 7:27 AM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 09:32:05-05

MISSOULA - A small weekend explosion between two walls at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Missoula school prompted an early-out Monday afternoon so the school could determine what caused it.

Missoula Fire Marshall Dax Fraser tells MTN News the small blast knocked out some drywall on both walls. A janitor reported the incident on Monday.

There were no schoolchildren present when it happened.

NorthWestern Energy, an environmental hygienist and the fire marshal responded on Monday to assess the situation. There was no gas leak found but Fraser says they don’t know exactly what caused the explosion.

We contacted NorthWestern Energy, the City of Missoula Fire Department, the Missoula City-County Health Department, Lewis and Clark’s principal and Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) to get more information.

MCPS Communication Specialist Tyler Christenson told MTN News they implemented an early dismissal around 1 p.m. on. Monday.

"Resting of the school determined the building is safe for students and staff to return to school as usual," Lewis and Clark Principal Alanna Vaneps stated in an email sent to parents late Monday. "The mechanical and plumbing issues experienced over the weekend damaged a drainpipe and a portion of the wall between two classrooms. Those classes will be relocated while repairs are made.”

Fraser told MTN News the school did its due diligence to make sure the facility was safe.