Burk Hall fire drill successful

A routine fire drill interrupted instruction in Burk Hall for about 10 minutes at 11 a.m. today.

People could be seen hovering around the building as they awaited permission to re-enter the building.

Safety officer for the environmental health occupational safety department, Andrew Yu, said the intention of the annual drill was to make sure people evacuate the building.

“That’s how we see a fire drill that went well,” Yu said.  “Some people will ignore it.”

And the drill was successful.  A team of people wearing neon vests checked classrooms to ensure they had been emptied, Yu said.  A police officer was also called to the scene.

The exact number of people displaced by the drill is hard to determine, but there are hundreds of students inside the building at any given time, Yu said.

“It was startling,” said Antoniette Diez senior kinesiology major.

Diez was on the second floor when a loud, continuous tone filled the halls.  She took the stairs to the first floor, she said.  The elevator doors swung shut automatically.

“All the doors closing in on me was pretty scary,” she said.

When the alarm sounded, most of the doors at the eastside entrance were closed off, according to junior biology major Gabby Robles.

The only accessible exit at that end of the building was the automatic handicap doors, Robles said.

Angela Desaracho, a senior philosophy major, said she was late for her 11 a.m. class when she saw large crowds lingering around Burk Hall.

“I thought it was for the protest,” she said.  “I thought (students) had annexed the building again.”

Each campus building experiences an evacuation exercise twice a year—one at night and one during the day.

The last drill was conducted on the evening of Feb. 21 in the Humanities building at 7:30 p.m.