Intoxicated visitor sets off extinguisher in hallway at 3 a.m., triggering fire alarm

Wyatt Smith

News Editor

Around 3 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, an intoxicated young man set off a fire extinguisher in the second and third floors of Armington Hall, activating the fire alarm and coating the floor and walls with powdery extinguishing agent. Students were only allowed back into the 82-bedroom dorm after the Wooster Fire Department and Security and Protective Services  (SPS) cleared the building room-by-room.

Although the fire department found no evidence of fire, there are reports that several posters were burnt.

The alleged perpetrator was not a student, but rather brought on campus by a former student. Following the alarm, security issued a no-trespass order against the suspect and plans on filing a police report, according to Director of SPS Steve Glick.

According to multiple students, the suspect and former student were on campus to celebrate the 21st birthday of an Armington resident.

“The non-student was separated from the former student in Armington and decided to tear posters off of the wall and generally cause mayhem,” said Glick.

Prior to using the fire extinguisher, the suspect pounded on and tore posters off the door of Kyrstin Gibson ’14, for reasons unknown.

“I really thought someone was coming after me,” said Gibson.

When the fire alarm sounded at 2:45 a.m., students left their rooms to encounter a thick, smoke-like haze caused by the extinguishing agent.

“It was really scary because when I opened the door, I thought it was smoke,” said Molly McCartt ’14. “It was much different than a normal, routine fire alarm.”

The Armington residents camped out in Stevenson Hall and Andrews Hall while SPS and the fire department went through Armington, opening doors and windows to ventilate the building. According to the fire department’s incident report, several students were found to still be in their rooms.

At 3:08 a.m., the fire department finished their sweep and allowed students to reenter the building.

For the next two hours, custodians vacuumed the hallways to get rid of the extinguishing agent, then returned later in the morning to finish the job.

“It sounds like another case of drunk people doing stupid things,” said McCartt. “There were a lot of times in my four years here where there’s just been ridiculous incidents, like pieces of vandalism and things like that. … People I don’t think always understand the implications of small things and how it affects so many other people.”

“I really feel like they should be ashamed of themselves,” added Gibson, “because that was just pointless.”