April 19, 2013

RPCC Evacuated After Stove Malfunction Sets Off Sprinklers

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Robert Purcell Community Center was evacuated Friday evening after a stove malfunction in the dining hall caused the sprinklers to go off, according to Cornell Police Chief Kathy Zoner.

No injuries were reported, Zoner said. As of 7:20 p.m., people were allowed back into the building, she added.

Witnesses described seeing liquid fall from the ceiling of the Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery shortly before the sprinklers were activated.

“I was walking past the grill station and I heard this really loud crack, and there was this sludge falling from the ceiling,” said Mackenzie Caldwell ’16, who was dining at RPCC when the incident occurred. “The sludge just poured out everywhere, and all the chefs were kind off stopping and staring because nobody knew what to do.”

Soon after, Caldwell said, she saw smoke and steam coming out of the grill.

“People were just stopping and taking pictures, and then the fire alarm went off,” Caldwell said.

Original Author: Akane Otani