Dow Science Complex: Smoke From Elevator Motor

There was smoke, but fortunately for the thousands working or moving in across campus Thursday, there was no fire.

Faculty and graduate students were evacuated from the Dow Science Complex around 3:00 p.m. when the fire alarm was set off by smoke from an elevator motor, but there was no fire, said CMU Police Captain Fred Harris.

Harris said the report of the fire alarm was received at 2:52 p.m.

“There was no damage to the building and no injuries,” Harris said.

Physics professor Axel Mellinger was one of the first people to smell smoke within the building.

“It was coming from the elevator leading down to the mechanical room,” Mellinger said. “Hopefully none of the smoke gets into my lab.”

Mellinger said the campus police were the first to arrive, soon followed by the fire department.

“It’s funny having this happen to Dow after the flooding and the chemical spill,” Mellinger said. “There was even a fire drill scheduled for this Friday.”

Stan Hirschi, building manager and also a physics professor, went down to the basement with an officer to check on the smoke.

“We evacuated the building, and the campus police were already here,” Hirschi said. “We went down to the mechanical room and opened the door and there was smoke.”

The Central Alert System sent out notifications at approximately 3:15 p.m., advising people to stay clear of the area until further updates.

Another notification sent around 3:45 p.m. stated the situation had been resolved and the building was back open.