False Alarm: The G Block Fire

By Brianna Yang

About two minutes into G Block on Thursday, September 18, a familiar (and, for some, welcome) alarm rang out through the Upper School. While students evacuated the building for what they thought was a fire drill, they quickly learned from the confusion of their teachers that it was, in fact, not a drill. Rumors then began circulating about the mysterious cause of this fire, with many centering on a kitchen dish gone wrong. The Forum did a little investigation to find the truth.

While the source of the alarm did originate in the kitchen, there was not actually a fire. The alarm was set off by excessive smoke from cooking 40 hamburgers, according to Mr. Bohlig, the Director of Facilities. “When the alarm system went off, a damper above the stove closes, not allowing the smoke to go to the rooftop. The Fire Department gets a direct signal from the school when the fire alarm goes off, and their response time was about 5 minutes,” he said.

It wasn’t just the Fire Department who had a quick response time; the students and faculty were able to evacuate the building in about 4 minutes and 30 seconds. “As always, the Latin student body, faculty, and staff cleared the building promptly and in an orderly fashion,” said Mr. Guzman, Director of Operations. “Unfortunately, we could not get folks back inside to resume the day as quickly as we would have liked. CFD has to give us clearance, and we did not receive clearance until all systems were checked, and the fire marshall was satisfied that everything was in working order.”