Students living in Patton Hall got a rude awakening early Wednesday morning after an electrical malfunction set off the building’s fire alarms.
A pipe in the fire sprinkler system burst behind the washers and dryers in the Patton laundry room around 12:10 a.m. The flooding resulted in an electrical short in the dryers, causing the dryers to smoke and trigger the fire alarms, according to an email sent out by Patton’s resident director Bryan Miller.
The laundry room is located in a basement connecting Patton and Potter Hall and is used by residents of both buildings.
Freshmen Sydney Odell and Brittanny Mohr, both residents of Potter, were doing homework in the hall by the laundry room when they noticed something was wrong.
“On the right hand side there was smoke coming up from some of the dryers and it smelled like something was burning,” Odell said. “The whole floor started flooding with black and blue lint water.”
Metropolitan Police and Fire departments arrived on the scene by 12:20 a.m., while residents were evacuated from the building. Many students weren’t initially aware of what happened, Mohr said.
“Everyone just thought it was a fire drill, so people were sleeping or showering,” she said. “When they found out that we knew what was going on, everyone just kind of crowded around us.”
Emergency crews were forced to turn off Patton’s water to stop the flooding, although the water flow was restored later in the morning.
While residents were able to return to Patton, the laundry room has been shut down “for the near future,” according to Miller’s email. A plan to allow Patton and Potter residents to do their laundry in other campus buildings is being finalized.