Malfunctioning dryer in Hart Residential College causes scare

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Story by Lauren EppersonContributing writer

Residents of Hart Residential College woke to the fire alarm blaring at 11:20 p.m. on Sunday.

They were then quickly evacuated from the building and proceeded to stand along the edge of Springer-Franklin Residential College.

Fire Chief Eric Pologruto said the fire department was called to the scene because of an issue with a malfunctioning dryer.

“There was a maintenance problem with the dryer that caused the clothes, probably inside the dryer, to become scorched and probably gave off some smoke,” he said.

Pologruto said while there was no active fire, an electric charge from the dryer did cause the materials inside to become scorched.

Graphic courtesy of Classroom ClipArt

Graphic courtesy of Classroom ClipArt

A firetruck and police officials arrived on the scene at 11:27 p.m. By that point the scorched material had already been removed from the appliance and doused in water. 

Students remained along the edge of Springer-Franklin until 11:43 p.m. when officials indicated that it was safe to reenter the premises.

Kyle Schneck, sophomore from Boston, Kentucky, said he was surprised that something like this could happen from not doing laundry correctly. 

“I thought that it was negligent for someone to cause a fire doing laundry. You don’t really hear about it often,” he said. “It’s great that nobody was hurt, but I hate that actions like actually calling the fire department and evacuating the building were even necessary.”

Many students remain unhappy about the incident, claiming that it was an incident that could have been easily avoided.

“I realize that the individual may have been trying to save money by loading everything into one dryer, but it’s really dangerous,” said Gabby Tinebra, sophomore from Louisville, Kentucky. “I know a lot of people were very upset because they lost sleep or were distracted from their studies.”

The lack of sleep and study time is not the only inconvenience residents have complained about. The dryers of the sixth floor of Hart College are not to be used by residents at this time.

“Officers notified Murray State University personnel to remove the appliance from use and have the unit serviced and to remove scorched material from the building,” Pologruto said.

The appliance will undergo a maintenance service in the near future to determine whether it will be fixed or replaced.

“I think that this incident should lead us to recognize that safety should always come before convenience,” said Selena McPherson, sophomore from Beechmont, Kentucky.