Police Blotter

UW-Eau Claire police dispatched for a fire in Oak Ridge Hall


Last week, UW-Eau Claire police responded to a fire in Oak Ridge Hall and a person stuck in an elevator.

There’s a fire in “Smoke Ridge”

At 12:11 a.m. on Thursday, April 22, an officer was dispatched to Oak Ridge Hall after a fire alarm had been triggered. 

The Communication Center advised that a dumpster located in the basement was actively on fire. The Eau Claire Fire Department’s Truck Five, Engine Two, Engine Six, Medic Five, Battalion One, Chief Eight and Engine Ten also responded.

When the officer arrived, he noticed a mass evacuation had taken place. He made contact with the hall director who said a resident assistant had pulled the fire alarm. The hall director said she had not noticed anything suspicious prior to the fire alarm activation.

The officer entered the building noticed a light amount of smoke and the smell of something burning. 

The officer made contact with the RA that had pulled the alarm. He said he was notified by one of his residents who noticed a “light glow” coming from the garbage chute and a “crackling sound.”

The Eau Claire Fire Department arrived on the scene and the officer notified them of the information he had received. 

The officer then made contact with the resident that had reported the fire. The resident’s story was verified and he said he had not seen anything suspicious or out of place.

By this time, the officer was notified by the fire department that the fire had been extinguished. A fire extinguisher had been used on the flames and was contained to the garbage chute. 

They reported that nothing seemed suspicious or intentional and did not report any observable damage.

The officer cleaned up the glass that had been broken on the fire alarm that had been pulled and reset it. He then went to the annunciator and acknowledged, silenced and reset it. 

The officer was then advised that the building must be ventilated before residents could be allowed to enter. A lock and chain was broken on a roof hatch of the building in order to ventilate. Approximately 30 minutes later, residents were allowed back inside.

Help, I’m stuck!

At 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, an officer was called to McIntyre Library because a person was stuck in an elevator.

The officer arrived and spoke with library staff. They said they believed the elevator car was stuck on the first floor. 

The officer went to the control room in the penthouse and shut off the power for elevator 34. The officer returned to the first floor and manually opened the elevator doors. 

The officer made contact with a male inside. The male said he was going up in the elevator when the elevator started to jerk and then made a “thud.” It happened a few times before the elevator stopped, he said.

The male said he was not injured. The officer left the power off to the elevator and reported the problem to Facilities Management.

Plueger can be reached at [email protected].