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Davis, California

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

News in Brief: Fire started outside Olson Hall Wednesday

A fire occurred yesterday morning on the east side of Olson Hall, causing students, faculty and staff to evacuate the building. Both Olson Hall and Sproul Hall were evacuated.

According to Nathan Trauernicht, UC Davis Fire Department fire chief, the department received a call notifying them of the fire at 9:14 a.m.

The source of the fire was determined to be a pile of dead leaves in a metal grate outside the building.

Trauernicht said the fire was likely unintentionally caused by someone dropping a cigarette on the pile, which produced a large amount of smoke. The flames, however, were small.

“We knew it was small and easily resolved,” he said.

Students reported smelling the smoke inside Olson Hall as well.

“We could see the smoke coming out of the vents in the ground,” says Jordan Lowery, a student who was in the building for class at the time of the fire.

Lexi Gritlefeld was in the middle of a midterm when the alarm sounded.

“We smelled smoke maybe five minutes before the alarm went off. … We came out and we saw the [UC Davis] fire station,” Gritlefeld said.

— Jessica Grill

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