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Dorm fire requires evacuation; fire caused by microwave mac and cheese mistake

Shaun Lucas

Associate News Editor

On Sept. 11, 2019, West Village B residence at MU planned for a fire drill for 5:15 p.m.; yet, what wasn’t planned were the other village evacuations which occurred earlier in the day.

MU requires all living areas to conduct two planned fire evacuations per semester, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. These drills are due to MU’s honoring of the Clery Act, which requires a report of crime statistics while pushing for security procedures and enforcing policies.

Once the buildings are evacuated, students and other residents of connected complexes must remain at least 40 feet away from the buildings. While some instances of evacuations only require staff assistance, others call for the request of fire departments within the area.

Over the past week, several fire evacuations have occurred within the residential dormitories on the MU campus. Many of the evacuations came from the smoke created by ill-usage of student’s microwave ovens.

Multiple students have been found setting off smoke sensors in their dorms due to incorrect preparation of microwavable foods. 

One female student left her dorm to take out her trash, leaving her mac-and-cheese container to cook. Forgetting to put water in with the noodles, the noodles burnt and created smoke clouds, leading to her building being evacuated.

  One stranger case was a student who ignited a taper candle in the shower. Many students reported witnessing the scene post evacuation, stating they saw an officer holding a bottle rocket-like device.

MU housing holds stringent rules regarding electronic devices, along with any flammable materials such as a candle. This includes watt-limits on microwaves, the prohibition of waffle makers and other variety cookers, refrigerator sizes, and the prohibition of candles. Candle ownership within dorms once leads to a fine of over $200.