Students and faculty evacuate Fain Fine Arts

Martin Camacho, dean of Fain Fine Arts, stands with firefighters as they investigate the problem in the C-wing of Fain Fine Arts. Photo by Justin Marquart

After the smell of smoke filled the Fain Fine Arts C-wing, students, staff and faculty were forced to evacuate by Martin Camacho, dean of Fain Fine Arts, and firefighters late Tuesday night.

“Fain is set up on three circuits. Two of them were down, so one of them was overworking to compensate for that,” Camacho said. “That’s when the smell of smoke came.”

Firefighters ushered spectators away to clear area in case equipment needed to move in the building.

“I smelled smoke in the printing studio while I was working. Maintenance came in and said it was just the air conditioning belt malfunctioning,” Rachel Ross, art junior, said. “At least I finished my work before I had to evacuate.”

While routine classes were going, Alberto Veronica Lopez, resident artist faculty member, said his initial thought the scent came from “one of the pieces the students made had gone wonky.”

According to Ann Marie Leimer, associate professor and chair of the Juanita and Ralph Harvey School of Visual Arts, the smoke started around 7 p.m. while she was in her office.

After the severe thunderstorm warning in Wichita County, the dining hall closed early due to the power outage. Electricity and internet problems also occurred in several residence halls and apartments, including Sundance Court, McCullough-Trigg and Legacy Hall around the same time, and Jesse Brown, coordinator of student organization, said he believed the smell came from electrical shorts due to the wind.

Additional reporting by Kara McIntyre and Cortney Wood.