Library Elevator Malfunction Causes Alarm


by Toni Stauffer, Photo Credit: Michelle Viers


At 1:32 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, University Police received notification from Eagle Security, the alarm monitoring company employed by CSU, which advised a fire alarm activation. Multiple officers arrived at the scene and evacuated the building.

Within minutes five firetrucks, the fire Chief, and an ambulance arrived. The Columbus Fire Department and the CSU Facilities Department assessed the situation and determined the elevator’s motor burned up, which set off a smoke detector. The malfunction resulted in a burning odor and some smoke to be dispersed through parts of the building.

“It was a burnt rubber smell. I’ve smelled it before on shorted out machinery,” said Eric Van Bibber from Library Acquisitions. “They [fire department] got here pretty quick and came in numbers.”

More than fifty people waited on the opposite side of the walkway by Woodall Hall, but some students, oblivious to the crowd and police still tried to enter the building.

It took almost an hour for the “all clear” to be given to allow for ventilation in the interest of health and safety.

“I heard the alarm and saw the blinking lights,” David Owings, Assistant Professor and Head of the CSU Archives. “We were all confused, because we just received an email this morning about the alarm test that is supposed to be tomorrow.” Owings also serves on the CSU Facilities and Safety committee.

No one was injured and only the motor suffered damage. An estimate on the cost of replacing the motor, or when the elevator will be functional is not available at this time. The good news is that there wasn’t a fire and if there is one, the Fire Department will probably be here in a flash. University Police are also to be commended for their quick action and professionalism.