After the collapse of bookshelves on the second floor of the Hearnes Center this past summer, another more minor scare happened last Thursday, Oct. 28 when a small fire occurred on the first level.
According to Gregory George, the mechanical supervisor at Missouri Western, the origin of the fire was that the banks of heating elements ignited filters that were near the ducting system. The fire department was called and students and faculty were evacuated from the library. No one was hurt.
The fire was observed and extinguished relatively quickly but the presence of heavy smoke prevented the confirmation of all combustibles being extinguished,” George said. “The decision was made to request the assistance of the local fire department with their portable breathing devices and fire detection equipment.”
Students that were in the library were told to leave immediately. The library was closed for the rest of the day. Caitlin Cress, an employee of the Center for Academic Support in the Hearnes Center, was there when the fire occurred.
“We all thought it was a drill until we smelled the smoke,” Cress said. “The alarms went off. They were so incredibly loud. We all left the building once we realized that Hearnes was the only building with alarms going off.”
George said that the damage to the library was minimal and will be easily fixed.
“Photographs show evidence of a relatively small, well-contained fire which resulted in very limited damage to the building,” George said.
However, the cause of the fire is still under review.
“The investigation into the exact sequence of events leading up to this fire is still under investigation,” George said.