Electrical wires prompt evacuation of UT building


by KVUE.com


Posted on July 16, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 11:21 AM

AUSTIN -- Burned out wires in a fire alarm panel are to blame for causing a suspicious smell and evacuation of a building on the University of Texas campus.

Cindy Posey with the UT Police Department says a call came in around 8 a.m. Tuesday from someone saying they smelled "burning rubber" inside Painter Hall on 24th Street near University Avenue.

The UT Police Department, Austin Fire Department, EMS and Hazmat crews arrived on the scene to investigate. They evacuated the building and evaluated those who were inside. One person was treated by EMS, but no one was taken to area hospitals.

Clinical Assistant Professor Lynn Kirby tells KVUE that it was a surprise that Painter Hall had to be evacuated, since the building is mostly offices, classrooms and teaching labs.

UT senior Dustin Taylor says he smelled the odor when he arrived at work.

"I was coming into work and my office is right there on the third floor. Immediately I could smell something awful and I saw a man running up and down the hallway with his shirt over his mouth and saying 'get out now!'" Taylor recalled. "I've never smelled anything like that before. It smelled like something burning."

As of 9:35 a.m. Painter Hall was deemed safe by UTPD.

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