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Orange County Digest

Fullerton : It Seemed Like Fire, Was Really Sumpthing Else

March 03, 1987|Nancy Wride \f7

About 3,600 students were evacuated from Fullerton College classrooms Monday in what began as a fire scare and turned out to be merely an overheated sump pump engine.

Al Bush, a college spokesman, said the odor of burning rubber was first reported about 10:30 a.m. in the Administration Building.

Campus maintenance workers surveyed the building and, because of considerable smoke, felt that a major transformer might have overheated, Bush said. The Fullerton Fire Department was summoned.

Bush said about 300 students evacuated classrooms in the Administration Building.

But by 2 p.m., as the odor and smoke continued to radiate out of vents, six more buildings on campus and about 3,300 people were evacuated, Bush said.

It wasn't until 3:30 p.m. that fire officials determined that a sump pump motor beneath the Administration Building had overheated and the resulting smoke had traveled through the ventilation system and underground tunnels, Bush said.

There were no injuries, and classes were resumed by late afternoon in the evacuated buildings, Bush said.

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