Possible gas leak causes smoke, evacuation

An unexpected scent of burning plastic and large amounts of smoke caused evacuations of classes today at the Arnold Campus.

Alex Fregger, Daily Reporter

The Cade building was evacuated today at 12:54 p.m. as students in class smelt burning rubber and saw smoke.

At around 12:30 AACC facilities were notified of a possible gas leak and a smell of burning plastic or oil.

Shortly after at 12:54, fire alarms on Cade’s first and second floors when off as smoke could be seen in classrooms.

Zachary Tennant, a third-year photography student said after his class evacuated Cade he overheard a professor who was teaching a class on the second floor when smoke started pouring out of the air vents.

“We didn’t see it, we smelt it,”  said Christina Browning, a third-year graphic design student, who was taking a lighting class of the third floor of Cade. “We smelt something and we thought it was us so we turned our light bulbs off, … two minutes later the fire alarm goes off.”

“I was nervous because you don’t know what is going on,” she said.

AACC police officer Harvey Baublitz said at least six police cars from campus security responded to the fire alarm as well as seven fire engines and an ambulance.

Cade reopened its doors at 2 p.m., an hour after it was evacuated.

Larry Gregory, director of facilities maintenance, said the cause of the smell and smoke was a failed ball bearing in a fan of one of Cade’s two air heaters.