Experiment smoke at White Hall causes alarm

Lee Betancourt

Although fire department officials

determined that no health hazards

would result from smoke caused by

an engineering experiment, University

and fire department officials

responded quickly to the scene to

ensure that safety precautions were

taken on Monday night.

According to Director of Public

Safety Dave Tedjeske, the incident

started when a graduate student

who had been working on an experiment

left around 6:30 p.m. The

student left the heat source on in the

classroom, White Hall 111.

At 8:55 p.m., the building alarm

system went off after being triggered

by the smoke from the heat source.

Public Safety officers arrived at

White Hall within one to two minutes,

Tedjeske said. Public Safety

protocol dictates that its officers find

the source of a problem and then decide

if more action is needed. In this

case, Public Safety officers decided to

call the fire department after seeing

from outside the building that one

of the labs had some smoke inside.

Both Bryn Mawr and Radnor Fire

Departments responded.

The building itself had really

minimal occupancy, Tedjeske said.

There were only an estimated five

people in the building at the time,

and they quickly evacuated.

After making sure that everyone

was evacuated from the building, the

next step was to make sure that no

toxic substances were involved in the

experiment by communicating with

faculty members.

The experiment was not toxic and

there was really nothing hazardous

in that room, Tedjeske said.

The building was reopened

for classes as scheduled on Tuesday

morning after smoke cleared

throughout the night.