Students and teachers at St. Bridget Elementary School in Loves Park are evacuated after hearing what they thought was an explosion and smelling smoke.
The fire alarm sounded and at least four hundred students at St. Bridget filed out of classrooms into the cold, many without coats.
"The lights started flickering and we just heard a big crack before all the lights went off," says Sammie Gray, a student at St. Bridget.
Fire fighters say a telephone pole across the street is to blame. All of the wires come down through metal sleeve attached to the pole, and fire fighters say it was worn out.
"Probably the years of the wind blowing and rubbing took its toll and burnt the primary completely in half," says Loves Park Fire Chief Phil Foley.
And Foley says anytime there is a power shortage wires start smoking. The bang, he says, came when the wire actually snapped. "The sound I imagine they thought the building was ready to collapse, and echoing through the halls, it probably sounded pretty bad."
With all the police and firefighters on the scene, parents say it looked pretty bad too. "You're thinking, oh my gosh, seeing all the police, but I trust the school and I know they take care of the kids," says Terry Gray, a St. Bridget mom.
The fire department did shut down all power to the school. But ComEd crews were quick to the scene. They expect the power to be restored later tonight.