After a Bluetooth speaker caught fire in a residence hall room on the 10th floor of Beaty Towers West, about 150 residents were evacuated Saturday night.
At about 12:50 a.m., the speaker caught fire in a student room, and the room’s residents immediately moved the speaker into the bathroom before its small flames had a chance of spreading to other furniture, although the smoke alarm still went off throughout the hall, said University Police Sgt. Jeffrey Lamb. The alarm caused the entire residence hall to evacuate.
No damages major damages were reported, and there were no injuries, Lamb said.
“Only thing damaged was the speaker,” Lamb said.
When Jerry Gonzalez was playing “League of Legends” in his Beaty Towers West room late Saturday night, the last thing he expected was a fire alarm to send him and his entire dorm to the curb of Museum Road.
But after about 30 minutes waiting outside his on-campus home alongside other student residents, Gonzalez began to worry.
Two UPD cars blocked Museum Road just around the towers. Gainesville Fire Rescue firefighters had been inside the dorm hall for nearly 20 minutes.
“Normally when an alarm goes off they send one truck, and we’re out here for like 10 minutes,” the 21-year-old UF biology junior said. “It’s different this time.”
By about 1:25 a.m., the crowd of students slowly huddled back to their residence hall, some laughing that the alarm amounted to nothing.
At the tail end of the crowd, AJ Riggins had remembered his key.
During the last drill at Beaty, which Riggins said happened a few weeks prior, the 18-year-old forgot his key in his 10th-floor room and was locked out. Once the alarm sounded Saturday night, he slipped on his jacket and walked out prepared, key in hand, he said.
After learning the fire was contained and his home was safe, Riggins said he was relieved and his only worry was deciding if he should return to the anime he was binge watching before the alarm.
“It was only a minor inconvenience,” the UF psychology freshman said. “I might just head back up, change and hit the sack.”