August 29, 2008

Steam activates sprinkler, alarm in laboratory

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Steam from a cage washing machine in a room inside Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Life Science III building Thursday morning activated a sprinkler and alarm, prompting emergency personnel to respond to the scene.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which was reported at 8:41 a.m. No chemicals or toxic materials were involved. The building was reopened shortly before 9:30 a.m.

The incident occurred on the first floor in the building and was confined to room 1082, within the laboratory animal program. Damage is minimal, according to University spokesman Rod Sievers, and water from the sprinkler exited through a drain in the floor. The activated sprinkler set off the fire alarm in the building, which was evacuated.

Todd D. Sigler, director of SIUC’s Department of Public Safety, said the University’s administration was immediately notified. Officers, including personnel from the department’s detective unit, responded. Emergency alerts were distributed via email and text messages through the University’s Wireless Emergency Notification System.

SIUC’s Center for Environmental Health and Safety, including director Paul Restivo, also responded, as did Carbondale’s fire and police departments. Restivo said there was no explosion in the incident.

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