Students, faculty and staff members streamed out of the Marshall Student Center (MSC) on Friday, after the building’s fire alarm system was unexpectedly triggered.
University Police (UP) spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said the alarm went off at 1:18 p.m. UP was on the scene at 1:30 p.m.
“It was set off by mistake, and the area was checked and the alarm reset,” she said. “There was no fire.”
Jennifer Hernandez, assistant director of MSC, said an electrician accidentally set off the alarm.
“(An electrician was) working on the hoods which are over the fryers at Beef O’ Brady’s,” she said. “He flipped the switch that was connected to the fire alarm system, but once the fire alarm goes off, we have to clear.”
After the alarm was sounded, MSC staff ushered occupants outside through the south end of the building. After about five minutes, UP deemed the building safe, and its doors were reopened to the public.
Hernandez said there has never been a fire inside the building and that officials were “glad that nothing was wrong.” Nonetheless, all such incidents are treated as serious threats, she said.
“It was unfortunate, it was unplanned, it wasn’t a drill,” she said. “We do drills, but this was not a drill. We have to respond accordingly and make sure the visitors and everybody in the building is safe.”
Jenna Burns, marketing manager for USF Dining Services, which oversees Beef O’ Brady’s, could not be reached for comment.