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Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 9:14 p.m.

Fire response at Fulbright Hall

by admin

About seven fire trucks and two ambulances have been dispatched to Fulbright Hall on 23rd and H streets because of smoke and a sprinkler activation in the building’s trash chute. No fire has been reported, but the building has been evacuated and a variety of agencies are investigating.

Sophomore Mark Amoroso, a Fullbright resident who lives on the 8th floor, said he smelled smoke on his entire walk down the stairs of the building.

“It also smelled like rubber,” Amoroso said.

Residents are being taken to Columbian Square because it is beginning to rain, but Residential Property Management officials said they do not expect them to have to spend the night there.

Update 9:59 p.m.: Trucks have left the scene however students are not yet allowed to enter the building.

Update 10:25 p.m.: Residents are still not allowed back into the building, according to Thomas Dwyer, managing director of Residential Property Management.

“We are trying to get the fire light safety systems reset and then that decision [to allow residents into the building] will be made by a staff director here on site,” said Dwyer, adding that he expects students to be able to enter the building at some point this evening.

11 p.m.: Fullbright residents are still not allowed into the building, according to UPD.

Sophomore Paul Patafio and his roommate Eric Lane have been waiting in the Marvin Center for more than an hour to be let back into their room on the 6th floor of the building.

Both Patafio and Lane were in their room when the alarms went off.

“The fire alarms went off and I was a little nervous so i opened the door and the hallway was filled with smoke,” Patafio said.

“Eventually we got out of there okay though,” he added.

Lane said he assumed the fire alarm was just a drill, until he stepped into the hallway.

“They had a bunch of fire alarms earlier in the year but they were all fake, so we were thinking about not going out, but we decided to for this one,” Lane said. “Then there was smoke in the halls, so we hustled out.”

Although Lane has been waiting in the Marvin Center for more than an hour, he said he is confident he will be let back into the dorm tonight.

“Unless they start rolling cots for us, I think we’re okay.”

-Emily Cahn and Becky Reeves contributed to this report

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