Early morning emergency ends in false alarm

A pulled fire alarm evacuated all of Founders Hall for about twenty minutes on Thursday after people smelled smoke.

Heather Schaffner, administrative secretary of Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement in Founder’s Hall room 536, said after smelling smoke she called nonemergency campus police who told her to have the building evacuated.

“We were having a staff meeting when we smelled something really bad. We all agreed that it smelled like smoke,” said Elizabeth Russell, academic assistant for the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics in the fifth floor of Founders.

“I went down to the fourth and third floors and still smelled smoke, that’s when I thought the building was on fire. I usually handle emergency situations pretty well. I wanted to make sure that everyone got out,” Russell said.

Schaffner said she pulled the fire alarm after she got off the phone with nonemergency. “How else are you going to evacuate a five-story building without a PA system?” she said.

Schaffner said fully-suited firefighters entered the building once everyone was evacuated. She said according to firefighters, the cause of the smoke was a belt in the mechanics of the fifth floor ceiling that slipped off of its track.