Machine in Engineering lab causes fire

A fire in the D wing of the Engineering Building caused an evacuation of the building Thursday night.

Those in the building were evacuated after the fire alarm was pulled at 8:21, said university spokesman Rod Sievers. He said the damage to the Dynamometer machine that measures the mechanical force of a rotating machine, caught fire in a lab in the college’s Center for Advanced Friction Studies while running a test on brakes.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire Thursday at the Engineering Building. The cause of the fire was determined to be a dynamometer, a device used for measuring torque or power. Steve Matzker | Daily Egyptian

Sievers said there were no injuries and did not think any classes were going on at the time.

Sanjeev Kumar, the chairperson of Civil and Environmental Engineering, went to the building when an assistant from his lab, which is next to the lab where the machine caught fire, called him and said smoke was seen. Kumar said tests are run in the lab on a regular basis.

Sandeep Burra, a graduate student in civil engineering from Hyderabad, India, said he and his classmates saw smoke coming in through the ceiling of the lab they were in and called emergency services.

Sievers said the damage was confined to the machine, but it took firefighters a while to clear the smoke in the building.

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