By Jeff Frankel
Local fire departments were called to the University twice this week to handle a small fire and a smoky condition.
The fire broke out in a Poyda Hall clothes dryer in the bottom floor laundry room on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 1:13 p.m., said Vickie Weaver, director of Public Safety.
A Public Safety officer later became ill from the smoke and was taken to the health center but later released.
The fire was first discovered when Public Safety observed a “smoky haze” emanating from the clothes dryer exhaust vent but saw no visible fire, she said.
The officers first thought it was a lint build-up in the heat exhaust pipe, but the line turned out to be clear. However, smoke kept coming from the dryer.
Then the building’s fire alarm was activated and students evacuated the building.
The door to the unit was opened and the interior flared up. The flames were put out by Public Safety with a fire extinguisher, and Lawrenceville and Lawrence Road Fire Departments responded to the scene.
Firefighters removed the clothes and sprayed the charred remains with a hose outside to prevent additional flare-ups.
It was determined that a motor belt had come off and had started the fire.
Smoke was also seen on Monday, Sept. 24, at 2:39 p.m., coming from the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority house.
The emergency generator in the boiler room in the basement overheated, causing the room to fill with smoke and smell like burning rubber, Weaver said.
Local fire departments were called and found no additional fires in the building. The area was vented and students were let back into the building at 3 p.m.