Pair of buildings evacuated due to fire alarms, one fire confirmed

Wes Flow, News Contributor

Two residential buildings in Corvallis were evacuated due to fire alarms over the weekend, with one reportedly sustaining damage in a fire.

The first incident began on the night of Jan. 20 at Sierra Student Apartments, on SW Washington Ave.

According to Scott Bremmer, a second-year electrical engineering major at Oregon State University and resident of the Sierra Apartments, the fire at the Sierra began not long before midnight, followed up by the sound of the building’s fire alarms.

“(At the time of the fire) I was hanging with some friends in their apartment unit…we walked outside, downstairs and were waiting outside and then the fire trucks arrived,” Bremmer said.

The fire occurred in an apartment on the building’s fifth floor next to Bremmer’s, forcing the building’s residents to evacuate, a process Bremmer described as disorganized.

“There was no policy or procedure in place,” Bremmer said, who added that a fire had also occurred in the building last fall. 

The Sierra Apartments were unable to comment at this time. 

The Oregon State University Department of Public Safety sent out an email at 12:39 a.m. on the morning of Jan 21, letting the evacuated residents know that McAlexander Fieldhouse would be open as a temporary shelter. However, Bremmer, who expressed frustration with the apartment complex and management, never received any information from the apartment’s management telling residents what to do. 

By the time Bremmer returned to the building, about two and a half hours after leaving, residents had gone back inside. However, the building’s fifth floor still showed signs of the firefighting that had taken place in the previous hours.

“In the hallway, there was sand on the ground, there was stuff tossed around, there were some fire axes, there were still some firemen working out the damage,” said Bremmer, adding, “there was a very thick, smoky smell; it kind of smelled like plastic burning.”

The other incident occurred at Poling Hall on the OSU campus, with the OSU DPS sending an email on Jan 21 at 11:37 a.m. ordering the building’s evacuation. The DPS issued an all-clear email 26 minutes later at 12:03 p.m. It is currently unclear if a fire occurred or if the building suffered any damage.

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