Florida Teacher Fired For Finding, Extinguishing School Fire
A day care teacher in Florida was fired last week because she put a fire out at her school.
Michelle Hammack worked at Little Temples Childcare facility in Arlington, Fla. While her students were napping last week, she smelled something burning in the school. Naturally, she went to check on the problem.
"I just leaned over and peeked around and there was a fire in the oven,” Hammack said. “I ran in there and opened it to try to put it out, and the fire alarm started going off."
Hammack rushed back to her classroom, woke up her sleeping students, and took them outside. All other teachers in the school followed suit. After Hammack did a head count of her students, she went back into the school to make sure the fire had not spread.
“When I got to the third classroom by the kitchen, I could see that it was just a contained fire in the oven,” she told the local CBS News affiliate in Jacksonville.
Hammack then grabbed a fire extinguisher, opened the oven and put the fire out. The fire department then came to the school, inspected the then-extinguished fire and told staff and students that they could reenter the school.
But instead of being applauded for her handling of the fire, Hammack was fired.
"I fired her only because she left her room," said owner Olga Rozhaov. “Even though children are sleeping, the teachers are supposed to be there."
Like any one of us in her situation would be, Hammack is mad about being fired.
“It probably would have progressed had it not been put out before that," she said. "I didn’t start the fire. I put it out.”
But Rozhaov is standing behind her decision to fire Hammack.
“It's not acceptable, and if anybody else does the same thing, I will fire again," Rozhaov said. "I will fire them. No question.”
Fortunately for Hammack, The Department of Children and Families is investigating the situation. Unless something we are not being told about happened, you have got to think — or at least hope — Hammack will be getting her job back.
Photo Credit: Action News Jax