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Black Hawk Middle School, Gompers Elementary School, CT photo

Black Hawk Middle School was the scene of an unusual evacuation and fire call.

The evacuation at Blackhawk Middle School in Madison came after the report of a smell of natural gas, but the culprit turned out to be something more benign: rotting cookies and protein bars.

When firefighters arrived at the school shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, school staff directed them to a Madison Gas & Electric technician who already was on the scene.

The technician had identified the area where the smell was coming from but couldn’t detect gas readings with his handheld sensor and said the strange odor did not have the trademark smell of natural gas, according to Madison Fire Department public information officer Cynthia Schuster.

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The firefighters went with a staffer to the classroom where the odor was coming from, and they also noticed that it did not match the smell of natural gas. An atmospheric sensor could not clock any readings to confirm the presence of natural gas or any other type of flammable gas.

They isolated the odor to a cabinet. Inside, they found a plastic container filled with cookies and protein bars giving off a pungent odor.

The situation at the school, 1402 Wyoming Way, was under control by 3:30 p.m., Schuster said.

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