Smoke Alarms are Set Off in the Communications Building

Penelope Blackwell

Around 3:00 p.m., the School of Global Journalism and Communication (SGJC) on Morgan State University’s (MSU) campus was evacuated. The school was evacuated after smoke on all three floors of the building set of the emergency fire alarms.

Students and faculty evacuated the building in an orderly fashion and no one was reported missing or hurt. Students and faculty were not allowed re-entry into the building, while contract workers and MSU Police investigated the source of the smoke.

It was reported that Room 107P, located on the building’s first floor, was the source of the smoke. There was equipment damage in the room that caused the fire alarm to be triggered and the sprinkler system to activate. The screenwriting and animation department (SWAN) was using the room to teach at the time of the incident.

About three to four inches of water flooded the hallway and surrounding classrooms near the room. The water also poured into the school’s basement and may have damaged some of the buildings electrical equipment.

“There was too much equipment in a room that should not have been used for a studio,” said DeWayne Wickham, the dean of the SGJC. “Whatever happened back there produced enough heat to set off the alarm.”

MSU’s radio station, WEAA 88.9 was also evacuated. However, the station remained on the air through activating its remote access.

“We’ve activated plan B,” the station’s interim executive director Malarie Pinkard-Pierre said.

“We have different shows in place so that if something like this happens, we’re ready,” Pinkard-Pierre added.

MSU Police was asked for comment, but declined.

At 4:00 p.m., it was announced that the building would be shut down and all classes scheduled for the evening would be cancelled. The emergency alarms were turned off and faculty and remaining students were allowed to grab their belongings. No one was allowed entry into the building if another person did not accompany him or her.

The building is expected to be re-open to students and faculty tomorrow and all scheduled classes will continue.