Sudden Alarm Forces Students to Evacuate Lupton Hall

By Lorena Grajales, News Editor-

On Monday, Oct. 6 at around 11:46 a.m., the UTC Police Department responded to a general fire alarm from Lupton Hall.

Three firetrucks and several police cars parked outside the building, as staff and students self-evacuated. Sergeant Craig Haney was the initial officer to arrive at the scene and quickly identified the source of the incident.

Haney inspected the indicating panel and determined the issue came from a burning odor of plastic/rubber from the mechanical room on the first floor, which activated the alarm.

Since the mechanical room of Lupton stored elevator equipment, elevators were inspected to make sure they were working properly. Communications department Lecturer, Jim Tanner, shared his first-hand experience with this incident.

“I was just in my office…all of a sudden, the alarm went off and they told us that we had to leave the building, so all the people that were in classes led out and I grabbed my phone and my keys and came downstairs. Then the firetrucks showed up, so I don’t know exactly what happened.” Tanner said. “It’s a brand new building that we just moved into so I hope everything’s okay.”

According to UTC Police Department Operations Captain, John Boe, the major concern when responding to these types of calls from campus, is that it will be something real.

Although they are trained for worst-case scenarios, Boe believes diligence in community response concerning roles and responsibilities in these scenarios are beneficial for everyone.

“I think it’s gonna make it much easier for public safety to go in and handle these incidents…I was really pleased with how everybody handled those roles,” Boe said.

Boe also gave advice for reacting to future situations on campus.

“Always utilize caution…I would suggest that we don’t get complacent, and that we always do what we have to do when it comes to fire safety.”

To locate other sources of heat, firefighters also used a thermal imaging device. At around 12:15 p. m. the fire department cleared the scene and faculty, staff and students resumed their regular activities in the building.

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