May 21, 2008

All-clear issued after building evacuation

SMU, the University Park Fire Department and a Dallas Fire Rescue Hazardous Materials team issued an all-clear at about 3:30 p.m. today for the area affected by an alarm received by the University Park Fire Department at 1:53 p.m. The alarm was activated by a power-washing procedure on the outside of SMUís hazardous materials structure. That process automatically released a dry fire retardant inside a portion of the unit.

As a precaution, three contract workers who were involved in the power-washing process were transported to medical facilities due to exposure to the retardant, which can be an eye and skin irritant.

About 200 SMU faculty and staff members from SMUís Dawson Service Center, Embrey Engineering Building, Junkins Engineering Building, SMU Service House and the Office of Residence Life and Student Housing were evacuated as a precaution. Also, staff in fraternity houses in the vicinity of the building were evacuated. Because classes are not in session, no students were in the fraternity houses.

SMUís established procedures for dealing with this type of incident were followed and underscore the collaborative nature of campus and area emergency response personnel.

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