Skip to main content

More than 40 students and staff at a Wisconsin Middle School had to receive medical treatment after a mysterious "epoxy-like odor" made them fall ill.

The strange smell was detected at Spooner Middle School — about 65 miles south of Duluth — Wednesday morning, the school said on Facebook. It spread throughout the school, causing students and staff to become ill, with some experiencing "physical discomfort," according to an update the following day

The school district said it is aware of 24 students and 20 staff members who had to receive treatment following their exposure to the strong odor. Two of those students were taken to a medical facility outside of the immediate area for care.

"We ask that everyone join us in sending well wishes for a prompt and full recovery of each of our students and staff members impacted by this incident," the district wrote.

So, what is this "strong epoxy-like odor?" They don't know.

As of Thursday afternoon, the school said multiple carbon monoxide tests showed normal levels of the dangerous, odorless gas. But the scent "is still present in parts of the school," the district said in a message posted to its website.

Authorities also don't know where the odor is coming from. The district on Wednesday initially attributed it to construction on storm drains, but now says the source of the sickening smell is still undetermined.

They're working with local officials and the Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services to try to figure out where the smell is coming from, and when it will be safe for people to return to the school.

Classes were canceled Thursday and will be again Friday, as officials continue to conduct tests, the district said. 

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant's injury clouds Timberwolves' victory over the Nets

The Timberwolves star was injured in the final minutes on Sunday night.

Akoya Lee

Byron native Ayoka Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

cold, wind chill, freezing

It's going to be stupid cold again Tuesday and Wednesday

They'll almost certainly be the 10th and 11th days with subzero temps this month.

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 8.37.27 AM

Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo says 'F*** the Packers' after playoff win

The 49ers quarterback congratulated Robbie Gould in spectacular fashion.

Aaron Rodgers

America dunks on Aaron Rodgers after loss to 49ers

The Packers quarterback was destroyed on social media on Saturday night.

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.

Related

unsplash - school classroom students

Students, staff sickened after mysterious odor spreads through WI middle school

The strong smell at the school caused illness and "physical discomfort."

bed bath beyond mike mozart flickr

Bed Bath & Beyond closing 2 stores in MN, 1 in WI

The retail chain is shuttering 37 of its stores across the U.S.

Minneapolis school board meeting sept 14

Mpls. schools will require staff to be vaccinated or tested regularly

The new policy also applies to contractors or partners that have direct student contact.

unsplash polie linemen electric utility workers

Power outages impacting thousands of MN, WI residents

The reported outages come after a dangerous storm blew through the area.

Pexels - classroom kid teacher student raise hand - crop

MN medical groups urge K-12 schools to adopt mask requirement for all

They say it will help protect other students who can't get vaccinated or are at risk.

duluth police

Threat forces Duluth school into lockdown

Police K9s searched the school before it was given the all clear.

hopkins high school GSV Pro - CROP

As students protest Rittenhouse verdict, fight in school prompts shelter-in-place

School leaders issued a shelter in place as a result of the altercation.

north high school north st paul google street view

Police: Student brings loaded gun to Twin Cities high school

The student began attacking employees when they asked about the weapon, police said.