By Jordan Corona and Rae Jefferson
Waco firefighters responded to a fire alarm around 2 p.m. Thursday at Carroll Science Hall.
Chad Moegelin, a firefighter on the scene, said the alarm was triggered by dust on the system’s sensors.
“We couldn’t detect anything – couldn’t smell anything – so everything’s fine,” he said.
No injuries were reported during the event, and the sprinkler system was not triggered.
The building’s occupants evacuated quickly and gathered around Carroll Science until further instructions were given.
Lois Avery, the office manager at the English department, said the alarms had been updated and tested as recently as three days before classes officially began for this semester.
Monument, Col., freshman Kat Strasburger said she was in an English class when the alarm went off.
“The alarm went off and I got up and left with everyone else,” she said. “We’ve been standing out here for about 10 or 15 minutes.”
Chicago freshman Mykela Deckinga said students were not aware of what caused the alarms to go off.
“We have not idea what’s going on,” she said. “But we saw someone with a bright vest come out the door with policemen and go down into the basement.”
Avery threw on her fluorescent yellow vest and stepped to her post in the narthex where to make sure students and faculty evacuated the building safety.
“My first though was to get people out,” Avery said. “After I didn’t smell smoke, I thought maybe it wasn’t so serious.”
By 2:07, students had all left the building and were waiting in the designated locals by Burleson Quadrangle and by the Bill Daniel Student Building. Eight minutes later, Avery stepped through the big wood doors and invited the crowd back to class.