Alarm Causes UC Evacuation During FD Visit

A fire alarm sounded during the visit of the Pembroke Rural Fire Department. The department was on campus during Fire Prevention week to talk about fire safety during. PN Photo/ Anayah Peterson.

By: Anayah Peterson

 The University Center was evacuated on Oct. 7 after a fire alarm sounded. Students and faculty call University Chavis the UC Lounge. The fire alarm went off during Fire Prevention Week. Fire Prevention Week falls on any week with Oct. 9. The alarm went off while some were in class with others eating in the dining hall and others sitting in the lounge area.

The alarm was unexpected and many people thought it was accidental or a prank. The fire department was already outside of the building. The fire and police department was hosting a Fire Prevention week event at Faculty Row. Located by the Business Administration Building.

Many students did not evacuate the building because they thought it was a fake alarm. Others believed the fire alarm was a drill for Fire Prevention week so they were not too worried about it. 

Lieutenant Philip Locklear, part of the staff for Campus Police, made sure there was nothing serious going on. He said the alarm went off in the dining hall kitchen. Locklear said they need to move the alarm.

“I thought it was a prank from the Fire Department. I didn’t think it would be serious,”  Aaron Burr said. The junior was upstairs in UC when the alarm went off. 

“I continued sitting upstairs because I did not think it was real. I did not see people running and no one else was moving. It didn’t seem that serious,”  Sidney Clayman said she and friends stayed there for a while and then moved outside the UC.

When the alarms go off in the UC a voice that instructs people to take the nearest exit. If people are upstairs it will tell them to take the nearest staircase and to avoid taking the elevator. 

Glenn Reynolds, is the general manager of the dining facility, has said there are no plans to move the alarms in the future. 

“The alarm went off in the kitchen from kitchen equipment that produced steam. There was no fire in the kitchen,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds explained that employees have to be mindful of the kitchen equipment they use because it can emit steam near the fire alarms. 

There were no injuries from the unexpected fire alarm that was explained. Students, staff and visitors were able to resume back to their activities after an all clear was given. Reynolds said it can be prevented in the future with employees becoming more mindful of kitchen equipment usage. 

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