Possible arson attempt in Callahan Hall

On Jan. 23, a facilities management worker reported what she believed to be an arson attempt in one of the elevators in Callahan Hall.

University Police Chief Jason Willis said that it appeared someone held a cigarette lighter up to the ceiling, causing it to partially melt.

Willis said that there isn’t much to report on the case right now, but that University Police takes intentional fires very seriously and they plan to thoroughly investigate.

Mike Irvin, the hall director of Callahan, said that there are no security cameras in the elevators.

Director of University Housing Arnie Slaughter said that this could cause housing to put cameras in the elevators in Callahan. “We’re open to looking into areas that need cameras,” he said.

University Housing sent out a crime alert on Wednesday afternoon, alerting residents of the arson attempt.

Willis said that there are several reasons for sending out the crime alerts. First, he said, it’s important to let residents know of crimes happening.

“[We also] hope that [the one responsible] will see the crime alert and hear people talking about it and confess.”

Willis said that the crime alerts can also help this from escalating any further.

Gidget Cole, the facilities management worker who reported the arson attempt, said that when she left on Jan. 22 around 4:30 p.m., the mark was not there, but it was when she came in to work the next morning around 8 a.m.

Irvin said this is the first time something serious like this has happened since when he was hired to this position. “Thank goodness it was just the ceiling and nothing more flammable,” he said.