Pitzer Faces Minor Fire Incident

A small fire was started in Pitzer College’s Mead Hall on the evening of Feb. 23 when an electronic skateboard malfunctioned and caught on fire. Mead Hall Residence Director Annie Greaney said that no students were injured.

“That is the best scenario, the small accidents, no injuries,” she said.

Investigation afterward showed the source of the fire to be a prototype electronic skateboard owned by a student living in the hall. According to Greaney, the batteries of the skateboard couldn’t be turned off, causing it to malfunction.

According to Greaney, the evacuation only took about 20 minutes and the students were allowed to go back into the building in less than an hour after the fire had been put out in five minutes. The fire department, Claremont Police Department and the Office of Facilities reported to the scene to ensure there were no structural damages.

Mitchell Weeks PZ ’16 was in his dorm room when his suitemate came in saying he saw smoke. Weeks, along with his friends Alex Cooke PZ ’16 and Christopher Norwood PZ ’16, tried to put the small fire out with fire extinguishers.

“We put it out at least as far as we could tell. And then the RA started yelling at us for being there so we ran out because I don’t think we’re supposed to be trying to put out fires. I think they did the right thing in telling us to back away,” Weeks said. “I don’t actually know if we officially put it out, but for a while we put it out.”

Greaney said that the students did an excellent job of evacuating in an efficient manner. She also said that the RAs responded promptly.

“If it wasn’t for the RAs, I think it probably would have been a lot worse,” she said.