Smoke from cannabis triggers fire alarm at University Court building Sunday

Corryn Brock, Staff Reporter

Cannabis smoke triggered a fire alarm in the Yorkshire building of University Court Sunday night.

Captain James Calvert of the Charleston Fire Department said CFD responded to an activate fire alarm at University Court.

“When we arrived we didn’t have anything showing from the exterior of building, we had an evacuation in progress,” he said.

CFD was advised of smoke on the third floor and found a light haze of smoke in apartment 31.

“Our initial contact with the smoke revealed that it was cannabis smoke from a party that (residents) had recently had,” Calvert said.

Orlando Cooper, a senior English major and resident of the Yorkshire building, said he had just gotten home when the alarm sounded and evacuated the building there was a noticeable marijuana odor.

CFD ventilated the apartment and reset the fire alarm.

The Charleston Police Department responded to the call and turned it over to Housing and Dining according to an officer with the department.

Mark Hudon, Director of Housing and Dining, said when the fire alarm is activated, CFD is in control of the building.

“They are the authority on the scene,” Hudson said. “They tell us the status.”

Hudson said when the alarm is activated the housing staff is responsible for trying to get residents out of the building(s) they look after, and that it is their first priority. “Safety first, everybody out, and we’ll let you back in when (the building) is clear,” said Hudson. “All of our systems are set up to maximize student safety. We’re going to over-respond rather than under-respond.”

An officer with Eastern’s University Police Department was seen with an unidentified resident going through a dumpster on the side of the Yorkshire building.

Calvert said UPD conducted a further investigation into the incident. The UPD was unavailable for comment.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].