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.

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