Mother: KinderCare staff calm, had plan when evacuating kids fro - KPTV - FOX 12

Mother: KinderCare staff calm, had plan when evacuating kids from downtown Portland building

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Krystall Waller said she was not sure if the alarms going off at her children’s KinderCare Tuesday morning was a drill until teachers began leading the children out of the building. (KPTV) Krystall Waller said she was not sure if the alarms going off at her children’s KinderCare Tuesday morning was a drill until teachers began leading the children out of the building. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Several of those evacuated from a building in downtown Portland Tuesday were young children and babies at a KinderCare Learning Center.

The facility was on the first floor of the building at the corner of 5th Avenue and Columbia Street, and there was an outdoor playground on the opposite side of the building.

Krystall Waller told FOX 12 she was just dropping her children off when all of a sudden they were in the middle of an emergency.

MORE: 'No imminent threat' of collapse at evacuated downtown Portland building

The two little boys are safe and all smiles now, but Waller said she and her sons heard some strange popping sounds when she dropped them off Tuesday morning.

“It seemed really calm at first, just like some construction noises maybe, and then the fire alarms went off,” she recalled. “And then it was like, ‘Is this a drill or do we really get out of the building?’”

Waller said the KinderCare teachers didn’t hesitate for a second, and she followed their lead.

“They seemed to have a plan already set, and they just started moving. They didn’t really answer a lot of questions, they just grabbed all the kids so I grabbed mine,” she explained. “There were even people on the street helping to migrate the kids to where they needed to be because it was trying to get everybody out.”

MORE: Portland Fire & Rescue: 'We don't have to worry about the building collapsing'

All the children were evacuated safely, and Waller said she is relieved they got out when they did, especially after seeing a bulge in the side of the building.

That bulge is right above the KinderCare’s outdoor playground, and debris could be seen crashing down from it during the evacuation.

WATCH: RAW VIDEO: Debris falling from evacuated building in downtown Portland

Waller is also grateful she happened to take her boys in later than usual so she was with them when things got scary.

“I was also able to see some parents like running up, and just the look on their face and they didn’t know what to think until you get to your kids, so,” she said. “I didn’t have to go through that.”

PHOTOS: Building in downtown Portland evacuated, exterior shows cracking

A spokeswoman for KinderCare said their teachers are trained and prepared to deal with emergencies like Tuesday’s incident, and they took the kids to a predetermined evacuation area at a nearby business.

The staff at the KinderCare don’t know if they’ll be back open Wednesday but noted they will let parents know as soon as possible.

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