Hundreds of students and staff poured out of Uris Hall yesterday morning after a fire alarm went off at around 11:34 a.m.
Smoke, resulting from a short in a light switch, caused the alarms to go off, according to Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service. Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) officers and Ithaca firefighters arrived at the scene approximately five minutes later.
Some students, including the approximately 150 attending Astronomy 102 in Uris Hall Auditorium, at first did not recognize the alarm.
“We were sitting there and Professor Bell was talking about half-life,” Navin Seebaran ’06 said.
“We then heard this sound, and we thought it was Professor Bell’s microphone, but then he called fire drill,” Seebaran added.
The building was evacuated for over an hour, as members of the CUPD and the Ithaca Fire Department surveyed the building. Authorities were initially unsure of what caused the smoke. During the evacuation, many students remembered smelling smoke in the hallways.
“As soon as we left the auditorium, you could tell something was burning,” Alex Wolf ’06 said.
Grace-Kobas said that the short was not a natural fire and there was no injury or property damage.
Archived article by Brian Tsao