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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Overheated motor sets off fire alarm in Bates

The UH Fire Marshal’s Office, security officers and emergency management personnel responded at 8:56 a.m. yesterday to a fire alarm in the Bates residence hall in the Quadrangle.

“At approximately 8:45 a.m. this morning, a security officer responded to a fire alarm call at Bates Residential Hall. Upon arrival he saw visible smoke and notified the UHDPS dispatcher to call Houston Fire Department. HFD responded to the location within two minutes of the call,” said Joe Tremont, the  interim director of the UH Fire Marshal’s Office, in an email.

“HFD conducted a search for the smoke and along with UH Fire Marshal’s Office and determined that an Air Handler Unit Motor was the cause of the smoke. There were never any visible flames on the Air Handler Unit. The building was cleared by UH Fire Marshal’s Office at 10:15 a.m. for students to return.”

Nobody was injured, according to the email released by the FMO. However, there was damage sustained to the air handler unit, Tremont said.

“The Air Handler Unit’s motor overheated and caused the smoke,” Tremont said.

“The state-of-the-art fire alarm systems that are installed in the residential dorms helped with an early warning to evacuate the residents in a timely manner. The Residential Life RAs did an excellent job at helping with the evacuation of all residents to help prevent any injuries.”

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