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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Turlington elevator motor overheats, interrupts evening exam

About 200 students ambled around Turlington Plaza, red and blue flashing across their faces from parked squad cars and fire engines.

Gainesville Fire Rescue units responded to a fire alarm in Turlington Hall at about 10:25 p.m. Wednesday. University Police Department spokesman Capt. Jeff Holcomb said the cause was an overheated elevator motor.

GFR spokeswoman Laura Koppel said about nine units were dispatched. They arrived at 10:31 p.m. and smelled smoke in the hallways.

No fire was present, she said.

The state fire marshall will investigate further causes, she said.

Holcomb said officers handle similar cases about every six months.

There are more than 950 buildings on campus. With that many elevators, it's bound to happen, Holcomb said.

A business finance exam was disrupted in Turlington Hall when the fire alarm went off. The class, which was split into different classrooms for the exam because of its size, had about eight minutes left to finish, said teaching assistant Tom Doellman.

The biggest concern was students cheating while waiting for the building to be cleared.

About 10 teaching assistants monitored the crowd.

"We did everything in our power to keep people from sharing answers," Doellman said.

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