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Teacher fired after putting fire out

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Updated: 7/19/2013 11:03 am

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.

While other teachers did a head count, Hammack says she went back for a second check to make sure no other children were inside.

"When I got to the third classroom by the kitchen, I could see that it was just a contained fire in the oven."

So Hammack says she put it out, before the fire trucks arrived, but instead of being thanked, she got a pink slip hours later.

"I fired her only because she left her room," explained the facility owner Olga Rozhaov.

Rozhaov says Hammack broke strict protocol when she left her class alone.

"Even though children are sleeping, the teachers are supposed to be there."

Rozhaov took Action News on a tour of the facility. We didn't smell smoke, but found light smoke damage around the oven. Hammack believes it could have been much worse.

"It probably would have progressed had it not been put out before that."

Being fired, Hammack says, isn't fair.

"I didn't start the fire. I put it out."

But Rozhaov believes she made the right decision.

"It's not acceptable, and if anybody else does the same thing, I will fire again. I will fire them. No question."

The Department of Children and Families is investigating.

The JFRD confirms oven fire was extinguished by an employee Wednesday. The initial automatic alarm call was received at 12:42 p.m. Firefighters were on the scene at 12:47 p.m., and determined the facility was safe for students and teachers to enter again 13 minutes later.

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Odette - 1/12/2014 8:35 PM
0 Votes
You are all borderline retarded.

nannies - 7/31/2013 5:46 PM
0 Votes
All the decorations I did with my VPK class for Easter is still in the window. It is sad that they did not go home with the children. Every month I changed out their art work and sent them home. I was thinking the same thing when i went by there the other day. Every thing is the same since I left in April 2013.

denise - 7/30/2013 11:16 AM
1 Vote
EASTER decorations in front window of daycare in AUGUST! WOW how LAZY!

ted schofield - 7/26/2013 2:13 PM
0 Votes
Well, we all know where the do-do birds went, no their not extinct, actually very recognizable, species like olga dodo, Zimmerman jury dodo's, hanging chad dodo's and the current governor, another dodo...Seems like the dodo's are alive and well, in the dodo capitol of the US...Floriduh!

denise - 7/25/2013 11:44 PM
0 Votes
Am I crazy or did this Heathwill on this comment site. Went by Heathwill on National comment sites. Say D.C.F. was investigating Michelle for CHILD NEGLECT?? Numerous times. You promised to E-mail the proof when Olga gets it. What did you just say below? #1.Yes she is STILL fired. worried you are so excited over it. She is a single mom raising and sole supporter. #2 On some of the National comment sites and this one you said D.C.F was investigating her for CHILD NEGLECT. ABUSE with a slipper screaming at the kids with Monster voice must I go on? D.C.F does not give a hoot who is fired or how that Daycare is run. Who would #4 Im crazy no vote needed to even waste one more second on you. You proved who the liar is. I will pass this to the people you lied to. Have a good night.

denise - 7/25/2013 11:31 PM
0 Votes
Heathwill AKA Heathwilliams on the National sites and this site you promised the D.C.F report for CHILD NEGLECT, ABUSE for hitting child with slipper, Yelling sit down in a monster voice. HELLO your #2 below leaves me speechless. D-(department) C-(children) S(services). "Not at fault for letting Michelle go??? They were there to check licenses PERIOD. Changing your tune in BIG way. Its scarey you are so excited about it. She is a single mom sole supporter of 2 children. A human being. So yes we are spending our time thinking about it. In case you are having memory problems, You had your minute of fame she or he says who the heck started this? Good night and God Bless you

HeathWill - 7/25/2013 8:56 PM
0 Votes
Sorry for the late reply Denise, I was working. I guess you and your daughter have more time to think about things. Fact number one, your daughter I still FIRED. Fact number two, you say you spoke to DCF and they had nothing report, that would be because they couldn't find anything where the daycare center was at fault for letting Michelle go. Fact number three, the statements from the employees at the daycare back up the decisions by Ms. Olga. Fact number four, your 15 minutes of fame are over because you can only carry a lie so far.

denise - 7/25/2013 6:30 PM
0 Votes
Heathwill where are you? Did you get your pink slip from your friend? We are still waiting on your PROOF. All talk No action. Read every post you made and you OWE it those people to PROVE AND PRESENT that D.C.F. report. Most of all you owe Michelle a apology for ALL the things you accused her of. By the way YOU and YOU alone made a scene when we were out there. So I suggest you get medication for your exaggeration problem.

doug1 - 7/25/2013 3:42 PM
0 Votes
maybe ms. hammack should have let the place burn, let olga explain to the fire dept. and dcf why her husband burnt down the place. where was the smoke alarm. dcf should shut down this"joint" and charge olga with child endangerment. fine her big time. and her idiot husband, too. thankGod my children are grown. doug1.

Dunnyveg - 7/25/2013 12:34 PM
0 Votes
"I fired her only because she left her room," explained the facility owner Olga Rozhaov." I agree. We need to import immigrants just like her by the tens of millions. She proves that diversity isn't just our strength, but our GREATEST strength.
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