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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Fire department called to campus twice in one week

Published: September 5, 2008
Section: Front Page

Shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday Aug. 30, fire alarms sounded in the Usdan Student Center.

“The fire alarm was activated by a vent which apparently emitted smoke into a closet,” Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan wrote in an e-mail.

According to a report from the Waltham Fire Department, two fire engines arrived at the scene along with a deputy. Upon arrival, the alarm was sounding but “nothing was showing.” The report confirmed that an alarm was set off by smoke in a utility closet. The report cited “smoke from cooking” as the alarm’s “probable cause.”

Annie Chiorazzi ’11 explained that she and a friend were purchasing food from the C-Store when the alarm sounded. “My favorite part was the voice recording notifying us that the loud sirens and flashing lights were notifying us of a fire, in case we were confused. Everyone calmly meandered out of Usdan, more concerned with leaving food behind than the state of the fire.”

Fire trucks also made their way to campus Tuesday morning, but this time for a medical emergency. A custodian, who was doing work on a stage in Spingold Theater, fell off the stage and was injured, Brandeis police and Bemco were called to the scene.

Bemco’s protocol does not allow them to transport an injured person to the hospital if the patient’s condition calls for advanced life support, so the custodian was transported to ER via a Waltham ambulance.

Fire trucks were present at Spingold as part of standard EMS procedure. Callahan, while not aware of the extent of the injured person’s injuries, stated that the custodian has been released from the hospital.