Students at the Chouteau Elementary and Middle School were evacuated to buses Friday afternoon when a burning odor was discovered in a classroom during the thunderstorm.

Principal Steve Boone said he doesn't know for sure if lightning was the culprit, but he suspects lightning struck the building.

During the storm, Boone said despite a loud boom was heard over the normal thunder claps. Immediately following the boom, a burning plastic odor was smelled in a middle school classroom.

The odor was investigated, but Boone said he and other teachers couldn't see any fire.

Students were evacuated to buses which are parked behind the elementary school while the Chouteau Fire Department investigated the odor.

Firefighters discovered a small section of wire by a heating and air unit which was burnt.

"It was probably caused by lightning," said Boone.

Once the fire department determined the building was safe around 3 p.m., students were allowed back inside to get their belongings before being allowed the go home.

"It was quite the interesting afternoon," said Boone.