Bethlehem Fire Department trucks surround the entrance of the University Center on Friday, April 3, 2015 after several fire alarms went off in the building. The alarms went off after a motor in an elevator shaft overheated, causing smoke. (Gaby Morera/B&W photo)

Bethlehem Fire Department responds to malfunction in UC elevator


Four Bethlehem Fire Department trucks and one fire emergency car surrounded the entrance of the University Center this afternoon after the fire alarms went off.

According to a Sodexo employee Karen Valerio, ’17, the source of the problem was in an elevator in the University Center.
“It was a DC motor in the elevator shaft that overheated,” said Bethlehem Fire Department Lt. Michael Rampulla, “(it) created some smoke and set off the smoke alarms.”
Valerio was working in the building when the alarms went off. All of the Sodexo employees were evacuated.
The campus buses were also affected by the incident. With the fire trucks blocking part of the road, some buses took an alternative route to avoid the trucks, while others were forced to stop and remain at the Drown Hall bus stop while the firefighters entered the University Center.
Rampulla also said the fire department was called to the University Center twice. When the fire department responded to the first call, there was no visible smoke in the building and the alarms were reset.
At approximately 5 p.m. all the fire trucks had left the area and the Sodexo workers were able to reenter the building.

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