Fire in library false alarm

By Nicole Lafond

A smoking light fixture on the third floor of Benner Library caused students, faculty and staff to evacuate the library and the Communication Department at 1:00 this afternoon, according to Bourbonnais Fire Chief Ed St. Louis.

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Photo by Justine Espersen.

“We received a 9-11 call about a fire in the library,” St. Louis said. “They said there was light haze and the smell of smoke … We put the ladder up [to investigate] and I just heard through my radio that a light fixture was found malfunctioning. We were able to isolate the odor and the fixture that was overheated.” 

The fire alarms went off around 1:00 p.m. Students, faculty and staff immediately evacuated the building. Students and faculty outside of the communication building thought it was a drill. Informatics workers said there is usually protocol for fire drills and none of that happened today.

“As soon as we hear the alarm, we always have to go to the lab, grab the walkie talkie, clear the level and be the last person left on that level. We then report to the circulation desk and meet with supervisors,” junior and informatics office assistant, Emilie Janes said.

A crowd was gathered outside of the the library. Curious onlookers took photos and a group of students even took a “selfie” in front of the fire trucks.

“We took the selfie because of the song ‘the library’s on fire, but first, let me take a selfie,” sophomore Shelby Delaney said.

After officials confirmed there was no fire, people were allowed to return to the Communication Department and the Library.

Shelby Delaney and her friends gather to take a “selfie” with the firetruck in the quad. A large crowd of onlookers stood outside the library and applauded as firefighters exited the building. Photo by A.E. Sarver.
(Left) Ellie Jolly, Breanna Greer, Ben Speakman, Eddie Driver and Shelby Delaney (front) gather to take a “selfie” with the firetruck in the quad. A large crowd of onlookers stood outside the library and applauded as firefighters exited the building. Photo from Shelby Delaney.

 

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