Electrical fire reported at Tri-Towers


Matt Hafley

“You don’t forget that smell,” said Mike Kiss, pointing at an electricity distribution room in the Tri-Towers rotunda where an electrical fire broke out around noon on Friday. “The stuff is so old in there,” Kiss said, who is a contractor with Bruwer Garrett Company, where they are doing energy management for Tri-Towers. Photo by Matt Hafley.

Rex Santus

The Tri-Towers rotunda was evacuated following an electrical fire on a loading dock. Power was shut down in three campus buildings to safeguard workers while they investigated the fire’s cause.

The Kent Fire Department responded to the fire, and it has been contained.

Power was shut off at Deweese Health Center, Harbart Hall and Van Campen Hall, but it has been restored. Emily Vincent, director of University Media Relations, said the fire was caused by an “electrical fault in the underground distribution.”

“Most of us were behind the line actually cooking the food,” said Emily Bowe, junior theatre studies major and Rosie’s employee. “They had us turn off all of our equipment[…]and we all met up in the back, and we all left together.”

The studio for senior architecture students is on the second floor of the rotunda.

“I was working up there. We hear the alarm go off,” said Nick Slaughterbeck, senior architecture major. “[After about 15 minutes], I start hearing this guy go around and saying, ‘You got to get out. You got to get out of here.'”

Vincent said damage was isolated to a “redundant” cable, and there is no need to replace it.

Check back on KentWired.com for more information.