Evelator malfunction causes dorm evacuation

Around 4 a.m. Tuesday, Katharine Thomas Hall residents were awoken by the sound of the fire alarm and all 139 students were immediately evacuated from the building.

Director of Housing Chuck Major said a leak from the hydraulic pump in the dormitory’s only elevator came into contact with some running equipment, causing smoke to be emitted into the building from the maintenance room.

“A bile leaked out and came into contact with some of the equipment that is warm,” Major said. “That started causing the smoke and smoldering. There was actually no fire at all. (Facilities Management) are working on it right now, getting it back up.”

He said this is a thing that happens from time to time and is unpredictable. A similar issue occurred in Towers Hall years ago. He said emergency evacuation efforts worked very well and every guideline was executed properly.

The police and fire department responded to the scene and were able to find the cause of the smoke and stopped the drip from coming into contact with the heated equipment in the room.

Major said repair payments are currently unclear and a timetable for the pump’s replacement is not yet in place. The elevator will be out of service until this repair is completed.

Facilities Management was unable to be reached for comment concerning the cost of the repair.


The Spectator staff