Friday morning on April 8, the Physical Plant dealt with a fire that broke out just after 8 a.m. in the basement of Gill towards the north end of the gym due to a dryer catching on fire.
The dryer, used by the equipment managers to clean uniforms and such sporting equipment, had neither faulty wiring nor any other minor damages that could have been the culprit of the fire. George Brenton, director of the Physical Plant commented, “It wouldn’t have been a wiring problem or anything like that since we have a preventative maintenance contract, which means every month a mechanic comes to check and manage the machines.”
Furthermore, the fire was not considered a big threat since housekeeping staff was able to control and extinguish the fire relatively quickly and quietly. The fire department, no marshal, was only present to get rid of and control the smoke. “All the responses were as they should go, the alarm went off, all classrooms and offices were evacuated, Campus Safety responded and the fire department was here within minutes,” remarked Brenton.
The students that were in class in the gym that morning were a little shocked, but overall reacted calmly. Sam Cox said that he and other students in Dr. McCole’s class were taking a quiz when some of them thought they smelled smoke. Some students after finishing the quiz went to the bathroom, smelled smoke, and alerted the teacher, who had the class leave through the emergency exit.
Kelsey Franklin commented, “Matt Mummert had to kick open the emergency door, kind of awesome actually.”
Cox added, “I just did what Dr. McCole told us to do and I wasn’t too concerned about it. I think Dr. McCole would have been a little more stressed about it if it was something really serious.”
On a side note, another fire that occurred recently ended with the twisted knobby tree outside of Blanche near the Whiteford parking lot being cut down. The reason was arson, and it is being classified as such by campus safety. More details to come soon.