Air ‘normal’ after student faints during prayer service
One elementary school student fainted and seven others complained of dizziness, lightheadedness and nausea yesterday at a prayer service at Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury, authorities said.
Shortly after 10:30 a.m., firefighters went to the Centre Street parish after school officials reported the symptoms, said firefighter Marc Sanders, a Boston Fire Department spokesman.
All of the affected students were from other schools, Kathleen J. Caulfield, principal of Holy Name School, said in a statement she sent to parents and those schools.
Three of the students were sent to the hospital for evaluation, Sanders said, and the other five were evaluated by Boston Emergency Medical Services and then released to their parents.
As a precaution, firefighters evacuated the building and brought in their hazardous materials team, which tested the air in the church, he said.
“They got zero readings of any contaminants,” Sanders said. “The air quality was perfectly normal.”
The team also inspected the heating and ventilation systems in the church and got the same results, he said.
“They don’t know what the cause was,” Sanders said. “The church had no readings for anything that would be detrimental to the air quality, and the meters don’t lie.”
No adults reported symptoms, he added. “It was only children.”
The youngsters were at a prayer service for third- to sixth-graders from Holy Name, St. Theresa, St. Benedict, St. Brendan and Sacred Heart schools, said Caulfield and Terrence Donilon, a Boston Archdiocese spokesman.
“All Holy Name students are safe and in school,” the principal said in a statement. “There is no confirmation of a hazardous odor at this time. The Boston Fire Department monitored the air quality in the church and found normal readings throughout. All children at Holy Name are safe and following normal school routines.”