False alarms forces evacuation of Morgan Library

Mason Force

Policemen give the go-ahead for students and staff to go back into Morgan Library after having to evacuate Wednesday. The fire alarms in the library went off, forcing people to evacuate for about 30 minutes.

A malfunctioning smoke detector caused Morgan Library to be completely evacuated, leaving students waiting outside as firefighters rushed into the building to confirm that there was no fire.

Around 1:10 p.m. Wednesday, students filled the area between Morgan Library and Clark as alarms blared inside the building.  Within minutes, two police vehicles and a fire truck arrived on the scene. As firefighters inspected the cause of the alarm, students waited to be allowed to re-enter and return to their work.

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Students were required to wait outside for approximately half an hour before police officers gave permission for people to enter the library.  There was no actual fire or smoke involved.  

No injuries were reported, though the evacuation caused a significant disturbance to all who were studying or working in Morgan Library.

According to Dell Rae Ciaravola, Colorado State University’s public safety relations manager, the cause of the evacuation was a malfunctioning smoke detector, and the alarm was not manually activated.

In an email to the Collegian, Ciaravola said this malfunction may be due to dust or some other non-fire issue. Ciaravola also said it is not unusual for fire trucks to be present on campus, which happens on a routine basis. This incident in particular did not represent a threat to the health and safety of the University, otherwise an emergency text alert would have been sent out to all students.  

Michelle Bailey, a sophomore mechanical engineering student, was studying in the library at the time the alarm went off.

“I was in one of the study rooms on the third floor and the fire alarm went off, so I packed everything up and took the stairs out,” Bailey said.  “It was really calm. Everybody was just slowly packing up their stuff, and everybody was really pissed off.  You go to the library to study and then they’re like, ‘You have to leave.’”

According to senior economics and anthropology major Lauren Burr, the actual evacuation process was calm and orderly.

“It was very underwhelming,” Burr said.  “The fire alarm went off and there was an automated announcement. We did get to go out the emergency exit doors. People kind of waited after the alarm went off, like, ‘do we really need to leave?’”

Collegian news reporter Mason Force can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Masforce1.