Pulled fire alarm causes library evacuation


At approximately 7:45 p.m., an incident involving a pulled fire alarm caused the Santa Monica College main campus library to be evacuated for 20 minutes.

"All I know is the alarm went off and everyone had to be evacuated," said Patty Sophos, a librarian. "I wish there was more I could tell you."

According to Sergeant Mark Kessler, "someone did something goofy; one of your peers broke the fire alarm." He added that this wasn't the first time something like this has occurred, referring to a separate incident at the Bundy campus.

Library personnel could be seen at the back entrance of the library, attempting to fix the fire alarm. Small bits of broken glass we strewn across the carpeting beneath the alarm.

For 20 minutes after the alarm sounded, about 60-70 students were standing outside the library's front doors waiting to be allowed back in.

"I was working on a paper when the alarm went off—I had to quickly save everything," said Rodrigo Bravo, 22, an SMC student. "This is a big inconvenience. It's not the first time this has happened either," he said, referring to two separate incidents that occurred at the HSS building within the past three weeks. The details of these separate incidents could not be independently verified.

According to Aurora Sealana, Lead Library Assistant, somebody went to the rear emergency exit and caused the general alarm to trigger. Because no librarians were readily available to close the back door, the general alarm was not turned off. However, two minutes after the first alarm's trigger, the fire alarm was set off, causing the evacuation.

Once the officers turned off the sound of the alarm, the flashing lights continued. "Officers are trying to reset the fire alarm, but they can't because they don't have a key for it," said Sealana. "They were able to remove the sound, but not the lights—they say it will go on until it is reset."

Surveillance cameras are situated outside and within the library's entrances and exits.

"Really, everyone was relaxed; there was no panic," said Dave Wynne, 22, an SMC student. "Everyone was looking around, trying to figure out what's going on."