FOX 4 Investigation: Oak Grove Safe Room Shutdown

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OAK GROVE, Mo. -- A safe room built for students with special needs is shutdown after failing to meet building and fire codes in Oak Grove. Many schools use safe rooms for students with special needs to give them some quiet time when needed.

In Oak Grove, one school built a temporary safe room. But, when we began looking into it our investigation led to the room being shut down.

FOX 4 was contacted by a concerned parent about the construction of the room. Some schools call it a safe room, a quiet room or even a time-out room. We learned Oak Grove School Officials, parents and teachers agreed this room was needed, but now they need to go back to the drawing board before it can be used again.

Inside the Oak Grove Primary School is a room designed for keeping a student safe, but it was safety violations that made the Sni Valley Fire Protection District close the room.

"Either they reconstruct the room to accommodate the building and fire code or they build a new room that is built to the code to begin with," says Troy Negrete, the Sni Valley Deputy Fire Chief.

The Oak Grove School District declined our request to see the room or to talk about the code violations on camera. But, we received pictures of the room from a concerned parent which we sent to the fire agency and city inspectors after contacting the district. Neither the fire nor the city were aware of the room. One of the main concerns was the location of the room.

The room that they have currently located in a janitor's closet.

Click here to see pictures of the room.

"I would probably make them move the shelves and take all that stuff out that's in there so there could be no possibility of them storing chemicals in there that could spill over and suffocate somebody that's in a situation like that," said Negrete.

A district official told us the safe room was temporary and only one student was placed in there this school year. They also said the parents gave permission before using the room.

"The fact that they're using it for having somebody in there for anything other than a janitor that's what makes it not code compliant," says Negrete.

If the school decides to build a new room the fire district says it will also need an exit sign and emergency lights too. The district declined to comment.

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