JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Michelle Hammack was fired Wednesday from her teaching job at the Little Temples Childcare facility in Arlington.
It all started when Hammack smelled burning chicken nuggets from her nearby classroom. "I just leaned over and peeked around and there was a fire in the oven, and I ran in there and opened it to try to put it out, and the fire alarm started going off."
Hammack says she rushed back to her classroom and woke up her napping students. She then took all of the children outside.
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Frank De MaioTuesday, July 23, 2013 2:04:07 PMJUST CAN`T WIN ANYMORE!
David SlomienskiTuesday, July 23, 2013 2:37:55 PMSo let me see, the teacher gets fired for "abandoning" her students by investigating the smell of smoke. WOW just think what the lawsuits would have been if she had stayed and one of the kids ( lord forbid) had gotten hurt of died. Just how stupid is the management? GOOD JOB teacher Hammack! I would like to have had someone as smart as you to teach my kids.
Tony DiPrimaTuesday, July 23, 2013 2:49:45 PMshe should have her job she saved the oven and the school I'm sure,
Blair GhentTuesday, July 23, 2013 3:37:25 PMshe should be schooled on fire controll.First the fire is contain in the oven, and she opens itup, letting the fire out.And , didn't she start the fire.She is a stupid hero.
Annette AtkinsTuesday, July 23, 2013 3:43:49 PMShould have pulled alarm and gotten kids out first. Sorry, but that would be safest procedure. Fire would have probably died out by itself, being inside a closed oven. Firing may be extreme reaction tho. Wiser to redo fire procedure
Debbie Daughters CoryTuesday, July 23, 2013 5:24:05 PMI hope she get a lot of job offers.. but I don't think she should have open the over door.. she should have just turned off the oven and got everyone out..
would not have fired her.. give her a raise..
Matt Suzy SchusterTuesday, July 23, 2013 5:38:32 PMI'm not a teacher, nor have I ever worked in a daycare, I am however a nurse and I would have lost my job for doing what she did. I know it sounds harsh, but in healthcare, you are taught the RACE concept Rescue, Alert, Contain, Extinguish. If you don't follow, it's in your handbook training, state mandated fire drills. They will have to report it.
Roland LaFrance Sr.Tuesday, July 23, 2013 6:02:37 PMAs soon as she smelled smoke, she should have sounded the alarm and evacuated her children, instead of looking for the the source of the smoke, and looking for the fire, and then upon finding the fire, opened the oven. I teach fire safety classes in a Florida child care center where my wife works, and pull their monthly fire drills, having been a firefighter and fire officer with 20 years + in firefighting. She broke more than one rule, and disregarded her fire safety training she must have had.
Bob LincolnTuesday, July 23, 2013 7:12:24 PMShe did everything wrong. She started the fire, she opened the oven door, she left the kids alone while there was smoke and fire present, she tried to fight the fire with the kids still inside. A lucky idiot. This could have resulted in a lot of injuries or deaths.
Natalie TotireTuesday, July 23, 2013 7:46:43 PM I worked with day care centers years ago, and they apply rule after rule, so that no matter what you do, you're always doing something wrong, and I agree it's a no-win situation. However she did the right thing by getting all the kids out, but should have left the fire handling to fire fighters. However, people today are just so unmerciful, and she should not have lost her job.
Robert NorgroveTuesday, July 23, 2013 10:43:26 PMWhat a joke, no one got Hirt she did the right thing.
Tracy TollandWednesday, July 24, 2013 5:12:25 AMNot right that she is fired.She reacted and that saves lives.Amen.
Glennon MayerWednesday, July 24, 2013 5:46:37 AMNow go find a job with a american day care.
Penny DeForge CahillWednesday, July 24, 2013 9:48:13 AMThis is why so many early education teachers who are Highly Qualified (HQT) with both BA's and MA's are quitting teaching - I am currently taking a "break" because we are so over regulated! I hope for once the parents step up and fight for her instead of turning their backs and waiting for her replacement. It's amazing how the same parents who loved you to pieces that morning are willing to let you hang that afternoon. If you children are really your most precious gift show them how to stand up for what is right and just.
Penny DeForge CahillWednesday, July 24, 2013 9:50:30 AMYou are the reason teacher quit - your one of those who love them in the morning and hang them in the afternoon - correct?
Jim GuyWednesday, July 24, 2013 11:36:12 AMThere was no reason for this teacher to do anything but alert the school (fire Alarm) and get her children out. It is obvious that her employer's policy places safety of the children as her number one priority and expects her employees to follow direction. The closed oven door contained the fire. Opening the oven door exposed the teacher and everyone in the building to fire spread and smoke. Dumb move.
Shane StaceyWednesday, July 24, 2013 1:57:48 PMIf I was a parent of one of the children, I'd be angry if the school did NOT take action against the teacher and the conversation would go something like this:
"So, you're telling me my kid''s teacher smelled smoke and decides to leave my child unattended to go investigate, rather than pulling the fire alarm and getting the kids outside?!"
She was hired to be a teacher and safeguard the children in her care, not play Nancy Drew.
Travis Andrew WilsonWednesday, July 24, 2013 4:04:44 PMwell who left the food unattened in the oven? the owner should say something about that to.
Steve KadyWednesday, July 24, 2013 6:18:52 PMRules are rules. Common sense is common sense. Sometimes they don't mix. It appears that her room was very close to the oven. It sounds like other teachers were investigating the odor also. Did they leave their rooms? It sounds like this was a team effort to get the children to safety and help preven t any major damage. You do what you have to do, despite management.
Doug StrosniderWednesday, July 24, 2013 9:52:30 PMCome on Jacksonville FD, make her the true hero she was. Always several ways to handle situations, she chose the right one in this case based on what she was presented. Common sense ain't so common in Jacksonville
Randy SmithThursday, July 25, 2013 7:00:18 AMAnd once again, the "right to work" states show their muscle as another worker without any protection gets fired without legal recourse. The arrogant tone of the owner says it all.
Denise HammackThursday, July 25, 2013 11:59:31 AMSilly thing, the oven was not even 7 steps away. If she was down the hall took a left or right went down another hall.....I could see you making this comment. Her child was in that room too.
Scott RupertSunday, July 28, 2013 7:53:42 AMBob, nowhere does the article say she started the fire, unless I missed it. This is a difficult one to take sides on. I can see it either way. I am a volunteer FF and the LAST fire I ever want to have to respnd to is at a Day Care. I personally would thank her for saving the lives of those kids. But explain what she did was not smart, just reactive.