PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Electrical Fire Extinguished By Student In Pollock Computer Lab

A small electrical fire forced the evacuation of a near-capacity Pollock computer lab on Thursday night and was quickly extinguished by a fast-acting student.

Onward State was notified of the fire by an eyewitness through a tweet sent to our main account.


According to eyewitness accounts from two ITS employees, a loud “pop” was heard from a row of computers, and visible flames and smoke began to emerge from underneath the desk in the front of the room. A student quickly grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the flames while another student pulled the fire alarm to force the evacuation of the building. Penn State police and Alpha Fire Co. responded to the scene, but the flames had already been extinguished. According to Penn State police, the cause of the fire was a malfunctioning electrical outlet. Police reported that the fire started at 11:50 p.m.

A maintenance employee was called in to clean up the soot and ash left behind by the fire. No estimate of the damages was available at the time, but there were no visible burn marks and at least one of the computers near the flame was in working order. No injuries were reported.

Caitlin, a ITS employee who was in the lab when the fire started, said students were waiting outside for 28 minutes before police arrived and deemed the building safe to re-enter. Just over a half hour after the initial fire started, students were back inside in the lab using the computers as if nothing happened. One student was even surprised to learn that a fire broke out.

“I’m just thankful we didn’t go up in flames,” Caitlin said.

In the meantime, the Pollock Building is completely operational (aside from one faulty plug), including the testing center on the first floor. If you were hoping to have your Friday exam canceled, well, too bad.

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.


More by CJ

Get Out There And Meet People: CJ Doon’s Senior Column

Whether it’s natural curiosity or fear of the spotlight, I’m not sure, but I’ve always been more comfortable asking questions rather than answering them. Interviewing interesting people — friends, family, or strangers — is an enjoyable activity that I hope to turn into a living. At Penn State, I was afforded the opportunity to follow that passion — and then some.

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Wins First Big Ten Championship

Jesse James Drafted No. 160 Overall By Pittsburgh Steelers


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend