Photo by Lorien Macenulty
BY RACHEL JAMES
Last Sunday, on Sept. 9, Goodwin-Kirk residence hall had its fire alarm go off in the early morning hours. At about 6:15 a.m. Goodwin-Kirk residents were ushered out of their dorms and had to stand outside while the fire department investigated. While this was a nuisance to many, most students simply went back to bed and didn’t think about it again.
On Sept. 13, yet another fire alarm went off, this time at about 7 p.m. This reminded many students of the earlier fire alarm, and caused a peak in interest in the reasoning behind both. Goodwin-Kirk is an upperclassman dorm with single, double and triple dorm rooms as well as four-person suites. These residences were standing outside this Thursday night.
As one of the students who was woken up that early Sunday, Matthew Myer, a sophomore, described that unexpected morning event, “I walked outside and stood out there for about a half hour.” Myers said he had been given no reasoning behind the alarms, “No, I heard nothing from anyone”.
This sentiment seemed to be shared across the Goodwin-Kirk halls, Catie Mullen said “I was really annoyed” because she had been up late the past few nights and that she would have “loved to known beforehand, if they knew beforehand.”
The general consensus is that the first fire alarm going off was not planned. When contacted, the fire department stated that they were called in on the 9th due to an alarm system failure. This means that it was in fact, not a drill but that there was also no fire to be investigated.
The facts are that there was an accidental system set off: whether that means someone pulled it or if it was just a system glitch, the fire department does not know. If there is a system glitch that is something that campus security is looking into. When it comes to the fire alarm that went off on the 13th it turns out there was a real reason for the alarm going off.
A resident was utilizing the kitchen on the ground floor of Goodwin-Kirk when they put a potato in the microwave to cook on a paper plate and the plate caught fire. The resident said they put it out with no issue but about five minutes later the smoke caused the alarm to go off.
Some students found it funny or at the very least, relatable. Two of the students laughed and said, “we just had to sit outside for about fifteen minutes because someone burned chicken,” before being told that it was a paper plate.
When asked about their opinion on the evacuations this week Learenna Reynolds said, “let’s hope this is the last one”. Campus-wide fire drills have been scheduled already and are posted online.
During the week of October 17-22, the university will run fire drills in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act as well as in conjunction with National Fire Prevention month. Residence halls’ fire drills will be conducted from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 22.
For more information on the drills go to https://oncampus.wp.drake.edu/2018/09/11/campus-fire-drills-starting-oct-17/