Last week, day care teacher Michele Hammack was fired for finding and extinguishing a school fire, and it’s no surprise it happened in Jacksonville, Florida.
It all started during nap time, when Hammack smelled something burning in the school building. Naturally, she went to check on the problem in the adjacent classroom and saw a fire in the oven.
“I ran there and opened it to try to put it out, and the fire alarm started going off,” she explained. Immediately, Hammack ran back to her classroom, woke up the students, and took them outside.
While the other teachers routinely did a head count, she ran back into the building to make sure no other children were inside and that the fire did not spread. After checking that no children were left inside, she ran to where the fire was and extinguished it.
The fire department soon arrived, and after a thorough inspection, they announced that students and teachers could re-enter the building.
Relieved that no one was hurt and that the fire had been put out, Hammack’s mood immediately changed when her boss fired her. The owner Olga Rozaov stated, “I fired her only because she left her room. Even though children are sleeping, the teachers are supposed to be there.”
Hammack stated that “it probably would have progressed had it not been put out before that.” Regardless of the fact that Hammack likely saved the school from catching on fire, Rozhaov stands by her decision and told the media that if it happens again, “I will fire them. No question.”
Hammack should have been viewed as a hero, but she was fired because of the school’s "strict" policies. Hammack is disappointed and angry about the outcome of the situation, and many have already signed a petition to get Hammack re-instated at the school.
Currently, the local Department of Children and Families are doing an investigation on the incident, which could possibly help Hammack get her job back.