Students evacuated from Gifford after smelling smoke

Haley Candelario

Students and faculty were evacuated from Gifford Friday morning after smelling smoke on the second floor. According to Poudre Fire Authority, the smoke was a result of a ventilation unit that had overheated. (Haley Candelario | Collegian)

Students and faculty were evacuated from the Gifford Building around 10 a.m. Friday after smelling smoke on the second floor of the building. 

Madeline Noblett, Poudre Fire Authority’s Public Affairs and Communications Manager, said the firefighters on scene determined a ventilation unit that overheated was the probable cause of the smoke that led to the evacuation.


“(The captain overseeing the incident) said the probable determination was that a ventilation unit in the basement likely overheated and caused the smoke seen on the second floor,” Noblett wrote in a statement to the Collegian.

Noblett said the initial 911 call came in around 9:54 a.m. to report a possible structure fire.

According to Noblett people had evacuated the Gifford Building by the time Poudre Fire Authority crews arrived on the scene. 

Noblett said the crew initially suspected that the light haze of smoke in a classroom on the second floor of the building was coming from a fan belt in a ventilation building on the roof.

Tyler Klene and Brittany Conroy, graduate students in design and merchandising, said they were in class on the first floor of the building when they smelled something burning.

“It kind of smelled like burning tar,” Klene said.

Klene said he assumed the smell came from the tar being put down on the road between the Gifford Building and Aylesworth Hall.

Firefighters allowed students and faculty to re-enter the building around 11 a.m.

Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.