False alarms sound in Kerckhoff Hall on Monday, disrupt student activities
Two smoke detectors were simultaneously activated in Kerckhoff Hall around 2:00 p.m. Monday. Students and staff were evacuated from the building while the fire department investigated, but no fire was found. (Emily Dembinski/Daily Bruin senior staff)
This post was updated Sept. 28 at 12:23 p.m.
Students and staff were evacuated from Kerckhoff Hall Monday afternoon after fire alarms went off in the building.
Two smoke detectors were simultaneously activated in Kerckhoff Hall on Monday, said Chet Cohen, an Associated Students UCLA corporate loss prevention manager. One detector was triggered in the basement in Kerckhoff B100 for an unknown reason, and the other in Kerckhoff 317, Cohen said.
The detector in room 317 was apparently triggered due to dust movement during cleaning, he added. The UCLA Fire Department entered the building at 2:15 p.m.
Cohen also said that the UCLA Fire Department and UCLA alarm technicians silenced the alarm after their arrival and were working to trace the cause of the basement alarm.
“There was never any smoke, there was never any fire,” Cohen said.
Katherine Alvarado, a UCLA spokesperson, confirmed in an email statement that a smoke detector on the third floor of Kerckhoff Hall was triggered by the space being cleaned and led to a false alarm.
She added that UCLA Fire responded within minutes, and the building was evacuated briefly as a precaution. No one was at risk and all building occupants were allowed reentry in less than half an hour, Alvarado said.
The Black Bruin Resource Center was wrapping up speeches for their grand opening event when the fire alarm went off, said Alexandria Davis, a political science doctoral student who was part of the staff for the opening.
“I feel like everybody’s confused and stuck here, which I think negatively impacted the event after a positive thing,” she said. “But I think it’ll be okay. (The event) is still going on.”
Natasha Tjiu, a fourth-year business economics transfer student, said the alarms began to sound around 2:00 p.m. Tjiu was working at the counter of the Transfer Student Center when she was asked to evacuate Kerckhoff Hall, she added.
“We rushed out, and my coworker closed the shutters and everything,” Tjiu said.
Esther Friedman, a first-year transfer sociology student said she was waiting in line for her BruinCard when the fire alarm went off and was asked to evacuate by the Transfer Student Center staff.
Adeline Wijaya, a fourth-year international development studies transfer student, said she was also in the Transfer Student Center when they heard the smoke detectors’ alarms.
“We kind of thought it was a false alarm, but we got up and left anyway,” she said.
Students and staff were allowed to reenter the building by 2:24 p.m.