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

Beyonce_and_Bruno_Mars_Super_Bowl_50

Beyoncé to perform in Minneapolis this summer

It's Queen Bey's first time back in Minnesota since 2018.

Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 10.04.18 AM

Fire destroys all-you-can-eat restaurant in Superior, Wisconsin

Diners are urged to visit its sister location in Duluth.

basketball unsplash stock

High school basketball games canceled after adult 'threatens to bring gun'

The boys and girls varsity and JV games between South St. Paul Secondary and Two Rivers High were canceled.

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 9.18.37 PM

Bed, Bath & Beyond closing 86 more stores, including in Bloomington

The struggling chain closed a store in St. Cloud last year.

Andy Trowbridge

Tributes to KARE 11 sports producer who has died at age 35

KARE says Andrew Trowbridge died following a 'brief illness.'

LoganSlackDakotaCoJail

Man pleads guilty to murder of Inver Grove Heights father

Michael Chang-Beom Lee, 43, was killed during a burglary at his home.

Eggs at Hy-Vee

Price comparison: How much do eggs cost at Twin Cities grocery stores?

Prices have been spiking, so where can you find the cheapest eggs?

KwonFloodFOX9

FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.

RestaurantFireSTP

St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.

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."

B Chenal Polk COunty WI jail crop

Charges: WI high school football coach sexually assaulted student

She had asked him for the weight room hours, and he was there when she showed up the next day, charges say.

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.

YellowSacSpiders

Wisconsin school reopens after spiders bit teacher, student

The middle school found more than 30 yellow sac spiders in the building.

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.

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.