The Ross School of Business was evacuated Wednesday evening after a mechanical malfunction produced smoke and triggered the fire alarms.
The Ann Arbor Fire Department, University Police, Plant Operations and the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health all responded to the call, which came in at 7:42 p.m., according to Diane Brown, spokesperson for the University’s Department of Public Safety and Security.
Brown said a belt in an air handling unit overheated, causing the smoke. The building reopened when the air quality was deemed safe at 8:30 p.m.
“(The building) was evacuated because the fire alarm went off, but there was no problem other than the belt, which they’re taking care of now,” Matt Schroeder, Ann Arbor Fire Department battalion chief, said at the scene. “It’ll be safe to occupy as soon as they get that taken care of.”
Brown said the building did not sustain any damage and no medical attention was required.
Business senior David Farnum was in class in the basement of the building when students were asked to go to the first floor. After a staff member warned the class of smoke settling on the ground floor, Farnum said that his class stood on the first floor for approximately twenty minutes before the fire alarm went off and they evacuated.
During the twenty minutes that they were on the first floor, Farnum reported seeing smoke and smelling burning rubber.
Business sophomore Vidya Sekaran was at Ross hosting an event for her professional business fraternity.
“We started to smell a faint burning rubber sort of scent, maybe twenty minutes after that the fire alarm started going off,” Sekaran said.
Sekaran continued her event outside until the building was opened for reentry.