Smoke detector sets off false alarm in Loftin Student Center

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While blocking the north entrance of Loftin, Mark Bigelow, coordinator for student success in the office of student life, checks his Facebook after a fire alarm sounded around 1:50 p.m. today. Photo by Daniel Carde

While blocking the north entrance of Loftin, Mark Bigelow, coordinator for student success in the office of student life, checks his Facebook after a fire alarm sounded around 2 p.m. today. Photo by Daniel Carde

Student Life Director Richard Farias tells history freshman Joe Utterback he cannot enter Loftin. Utterback had not heard the building was evacuated because of a fire alarm at about 1:55 p.m. He wanted to visit the building for the first time and said he would probably come back a different day. Photo by Mandy Derfler

Student Life Director Richard Farias tells history freshman Joe Utterback he cannot enter Loftin. Utterback had not heard the building was evacuated because of a fire alarm at about 2 p.m. He wanted to visit the building for the first time and said he would probably come back a different day. Photo by Mandy Derfler

Students and faculty should evacuate buildings immediately.

By Adriana Ruiz

aruiz168@student.alamo.edu

Students, faculty and staff were evacuated around 2 p.m. today because smoke detectors in the second floor of Loftin Student Center set off an alarm, said Michael Castillo, Alamo Colleges police officer.

Castillo said they found no signs of smoke in an elevator, where the detectors sensed a problem, but it is likely a sudden movement could have set off the alarm.

He said the smoke detectors are calibrated to detect minute movements.

Engineering sophomore Emmenauel Oluga said he was working out in the fitness center inside Loftin when the alarm went off.

Oluga said he was surprised by the sudden alarm and was told to evacuate the center by a faculty member, but he didn’t think it was a real fire.

“If it was a fire, sprinklers would have gone off,” Oluga said.

Psychology sophomore Jen Weekley said she was in the elevator by herself on her way to the bookstore when the alarm went off.

Weekley said she was scared and thought she was stuck in the elevator.

“I was banging on the door for like two minutes,” Weekley said.

She said she was told to evacuate and step away from the building.

Castillo said although there was no emergency, faculty, students and employees should still follow the proper procedure and evacuate the building immediately.

Castillo said when he arrived there were about four people still inside the building.

He said in a real emergency, anyone evacuating a building should be at least a block and a half away from the campus.

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